A last-minute switch in the schedule of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Thursday afternoon gives a clue to how the script went wrong in Islamabad.
Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart,Shah Mahmood Qureshi,were said to have made good progress during their first session of talks which started at 11 am and lasted for nearly five hours,well beyond the schedule.
According to his schedule,Krishna was to meet Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani at 3:30 pm. This was to be followed by a call on President Asif Ali Zardari at 5:30 pm.
But just 15 minutes prior to his departure,Krishna was informed that the order has been reversed and the call on Zardari would precede his meeting with Gilani. In the time slot that Krishna was to meet Gilani,Pakistans Army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani met the PM. Kayani had also met Zardari. When the talks resumed after Krishnas meetings with Zardari and Gilani,the atmosphere totally changed and Pakistan took an unexpectedly stringent posture.