THE ruling coalition has finally come up with an agreement to impeach the President and restore all deposed judges to the positions they held before November 3, dispelling the suspicions and uncertainties that the failure of previous meetings between the PPP and PML(N) leaders to come to an understanding on these issues had created in the minds of the public. The latest round of talks, held at Islamabad and participated in by Mr Asif Zardari, Mian Nawaz Sharif and representatives of other coalition partners, was stretched to the third day and concluded with the announcement of a joint statement read out by Mr Zardari before the media on Thursday afternoon. He declared that all judges would be reinstated soon after the impeachment. Though the first priority should have gone to the resolution of the judges issue, now that the coalition has decided that the President's removal from office would precede the judges' restoration, it is to be hoped it would wholeheartedly work to realise these objectives and succeed. Mr Zardari's call to the PML(N) to rejoin the Cabinet was well received by Mian Nawaz. He would consult his partymen and respond today. Mian Nawaz and leaders from the ANP and JUI(F) present at the joint press conference fully endorsed the statement. Mr Zardari began with the remark "good news for democracy" and vowed to introduce "genuine" democracy. He recounted some of President Musharraf's failings and lapses over the past eight years, providing ample justification for his removal. He had not taken a vote of confidence from the Parliament that came into being after the February 18 general elections, though his attorneys had assured the Supreme Court that he would; he had failed to meet the constitutional requirement of annually addressing the joint sitting of Parliament; and his economic policies had brought the country to an impasse and resulted in huge power shortages, for instance. Mr Zardari stated that all provincial assemblies would pass resolutions demanding the President's resignation. (The Punjab Assembly that was in session at the time obliged immediately with a resolution against Article 58(2b).) He said that the coalition would go by the Charter of Democracy, and repeal the 17th Amendment and let the federation work in the light of the Constitution of 1973. Replying to questions about the possibility that the President might invoke Article 58(2b) Mian Nawaz said that it was not the Pakistan of 1980s or 1990s. Things were different, there was widespread awakening and the press was free. Mr Zardari observed, "we have votes [to impeach the President], we have the courage, and we have the political will." In reply to another question, he said that it was Parliament's prerogative to decide whether to institute court cases against the President. As for the new President, he assured that political forces in the country would get together and come up with a consensus candidate. Now that the differences between the two major political parties appear set for resolution, it is to be hoped that their leaderships would do all they can to create genuine understanding between them and work jointly to address the manifold problems of the people, the foremost among them being the rising cost of living.