Gen VK Singh should quit if he is disgusted, says Congress

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 24, 2015 14:41 IST

The Congress said on Tuesday that minister of state for external affairs General VK Singh (retd) should quit if he felt disgusted, referring to the tweets with the hashtag "Duty" and "Disgust" he sent out after attending Pakistan Day function.

"If the minister is so disgusted with the double standards of the government on Pakistan.... then he should have quit," Congress leader Manish Tewari said.

Singh posted a series of cryptic tweets that appeared to suggest he was unhappy about representing the government at the Pakistan Day function.

A former army chief, Singh made a brief appearance of around 10 minutes at the event hosted on Monday night by high commissioner Abdul Basit at the Pakistani mission. He posed for photos with Basit and stood solemnly as the anthems of the two countries were played before the envoy made a speech.

He then left without interacting with the guests, including diplomats, retired and serving military officials and journalists.

Soon after the event, Singh's followers on Twitter strongly criticised his presence at the function, with some using the hashtag #partywithenemy.

Singh responded with five tweets with the hashtags #Duty and #Disgust, which appeared to suggest that he was not entirely comfortable about attending the event.

"#DUTY A task or action that a person is bound to perform for moral or legal reasons," he posted in one tweet.

"#DUTY The force that binds one morally or legally to one's obligations," said another. "#DUTY A job or service allocated," he tweeted, without referring to the Pakistan Day reception or the duty he was talking about.

"#DISGUST To sicken or fill with loathing," he tweeted. "#DISGUST To offend the moral sense, principles, or taste of," was the final of the five tweets posted within a span of minutes.

On Tuesday, Tewari said that in the past, ministers had refused to attend events organised by Pakistan.

"If Mr#duty#Disgust is so disgusted with double standards of his govt on Pak he should quit? Other Ministers in past refused to attend PAK EVENTS!" Tewari tweeted.

Speaking about his presence at the function, Singh had told the media: "The government of India has to send a MoS. They sent me and I went there and came back."

After the media extensively reported on his tweets, Singh contended his comments had been twisted. "#'Disgust'ed to see how certain sections of the media are twisting this issue (sic)," he wrote on Twitter.

India and Pakistan took tentative steps towards a possible resumption of dialogue when Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar went to Islamabad earlier this month for talks with his Pakistani counterpart. Ties went into a freeze after the Pakistani envoy in New Delhi held meetings with Hurriyat leaders last year despite being asked not to do so by the external affairs ministry.

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