Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has dropped a plan to travel to Egypt next month where he was expected to hold further talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh following their meeting in Russia this week.

Pakistan’s foreign office has said Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani will attend the summit of Non-Aligned Nations in the Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh although soon after the Singh-Zardari meeting in Yekaterinburg the two sides announced plans for a second meeting in July.

Has something gone wrong?

Newspapers on both sides of the border read more into the change of plans than just a normal swap of duties between the prime minister and the president.

The Dawn linked the cancellation to displeasure over Singh telling Zardari in the full glare of the world’s media that Pakistan should not allow its soil to be used for militant attacks on India.

The soft-spoken Singh’s rather unexpected remark right at the beginning of the first-to-face encounter with Pakistan’s leaders since the Mumbai attacks in November ensured that the meeting was unpleasant from the outset, it said.