Minister Baskota seems to have resorted to circumlocution to confirm RAW chief’s meeting with PM Oli (with video)
July 25, 2019 08:01 PM NPT
By: Ajit Rai
KATHMANDU, July 25: Minister for Communication and Information Technology and Government Spokesperson Gokul Prasad Baskota on Thursday has taken recourse to circumlocution to obfuscate the question of whether Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli held a meeting with the newly appointed RAW chief Samant Goel during his recent three-day visit to Nepal.
One of the journalists who attended the regular press meet organized by the government to make public the cabinet’s recent decisions asked Government spokesperson Baskota about whether the RAW chief met with the PM Oli during the former’s three-day visit to Nepal.
Answering his question, Minister Baskota said that he was unaware of both his visit and his meeting with the PM Oli. “We do not know about RAW chief’s visit to Nepal and his meeting with the Prime Minister,” said Baskota.
In the course of trying to prove that the RAW chief did not meet with the PM Oli, Baskota continued to set forth another piece of evidence.
“If he had come to Nepal and held a meeting with the PM, meetings should be held in line with diplomatic etiquette. Therefore, the PM did not meet with the RAW chief. Let’s not spread a rumor,” said Minister Baskota.
If he had stopped furnishing more pieces of evidence to prove his point, there would have been a reason to believe that he was not trying to reveal anything about the possible meeting between the RAW chief and the PM Oli. But, he did not stop answering the question differently.
This is the point where he seemed to be obfuscating the possible meeting between the PM and the RAW chief.
“We do not know who met with the RAW chief. It is not true that they should not have met with him. But, I say with certainty that I do not think the PM met with him”, said Baskota.
He again continued to put forward another piece of evidence to substantiate his claim.
“I also read the news published in media outlets that claimed that the PM refused to admit to having met with the RAW chief. Please do not spread a rumor. The PM has not met with him. If a meeting is held, it should conform to diplomatic etiquette. It is not true that a meeting with him should not be held,” said Baskota.
But, the above-mentioned pieces of evidence that he believed would buttress his claim only weakened his argument.
From this point onward, it seemed that he no longer believed in what he initially claimed. It seemed that he was trying to accept that the meeting was held between the PM and the RAW chief. At the same time, he seemed to be trying to prove that the meeting between the PM and the RAW chief was held in conformity with diplomatic etiquette.
“No one becomes a pro-RAW by meeting with its chief. Let’s free ourselves from such illogical assumption. The PM has not met with him. If you think that he met with the RAW chief, please speak with corroborative evidence,” said Baskota.
“I do not know who met with the RAW chief. We think that a meeting with him must be held in conformity with diplomatic etiquette,” added Baskota.
What Minister Baskota said toward the end of his answer might make us call into question his initial claim that the RAW chief did not hold a meeting with the PM Oli.