According to the Pakistani delegation, the idea of telecasting the meeting germinated when ndtv’s Prannoy Roy approached a senior official of the Pakistan High Commission for a copy of the cassette ptv was taping of the event. The Pakistanis were initially divided over the request but a Star TV representative swung the deal after he doggedly argued that a telecast of the meet could become a PR coup for Musharraf and enable him to articulate his views to the Indian audience.
The Pakistani delegation then decided to take the gamble. Sources say it was Pakistan’s information secretary, Anwar Mehmood, who asked ptv to deliver a copy of the recording to Star TV. And it turned out to be a veritable coup for Musharraf—on Indian soil. As millions watched what was billed as a private and informal meet, the Pakistani side had every reason to feel triumphant. The meet was their most tangible gain. "We have achieved what we wanted to achieve," remarked a senior Pakistani diplomat, after the summit ended in a deadlock.
A piqued Indian delegation released Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee’s opening statement at the delegation meet, asking for the return of 54 PoWs believed to be languishing in Pakistan, the extradition of the Kandahar hijackers and expressing his concern over Dawood Ibrahim’s activities in Pakistan.
But this was more a damage-control exercise, in fact a tacit acceptance that the Pakistanis had won the media war. It’s altogether a different issue that the breakfast meeting put the skids under the Agra summit.