ISLAMABAD - The coalition partners, in a historic joint communiquT issued here on Thursday afternoon at Zardari House, minced no words on impeachment of President Pervez Musharraf. But at the same time, they tacitly left a corridor of safety in the face of a treacherous numbers game by throwing the ball in Musharraf's court. Sources privy to the deliberations of the coalition partners meeting over the past three days informed The Nation that as the coalition was short of almost a dozen MPs to get the golden figure of 295 required for impeachment, so they have opened another channel to get rid of him by getting a resolution from all the four provincial assemblies, part of his electoral college, to seek fresh vote of confidence from the Parliament. The aim of the coalition partners by going into this lengthy exercise of moving provincial assemblies against Musharraf would be to exert maximum pressure on President as, on this count, they (coalition partners) would surely defeat him. In these circumstance, President would either step down or become in a very difficult position to fight the impeachment move. The sources termed it a quite smart move on part of the coalition partners; going about the impeachment directly would not be an easy task as they were already around 10 to 12 short of the requisite strength and in the process the things could swing in either direction. Some of the insiders said that going about impeachment was not an easy task as Q-League and MQM people were standing behind the President and they were fully capable to break into the defense lines of the coalition to get more people on their side. The opening remarks of Noorul Haq Qadari, a FATA MNA, though he has come up with his clear support to the coalition in all their moves to strengthen the democratic forces but at the same time he said that they had asked PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari to held Jirga with President Musharraf before going for such an extreme step. Though Moulana Fazlur Rehman's JUI was represented by Rehmatullah Khan Kakar, his absence from this very important event was not without meanings. It raised many suspicions. The cold response of PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari about taking PPPP President Makhdoom Amin Fahim on board and the overt criticism of the move by the latter have also raised alarm bells. The sources further disclosed that though President Musharraf could not exercise his powers under Article 58(2)B with the blessing of the sitting Army Chief, who apparently seemed neutral in the whole affair, but surely the Armed Forces could not want to see their former chief drummed out by the political dispensation and would surely come out with some middle course to have face saving for the Armed Forces, which had a lot on stake. Some of the political analysts closely watching the developments over the past couple of months were of the view that the decision of President Musharraf to postpone his visit to China and his statement that he had done nothing unconstitutional or unlawful showed that he was not ready to easily give up and would fight back. In the backdrop of this development, one could see a lot of wheeling-dealing in the coming days on the political horizon with MPs switching their loyalties and making big fortunes. Some political analysts were of the view that the impeachment move about to be tabled by the coalition government would serve as a double-edged sword since in case of its failure, they would be legitimizing the status of President Musharraf, whom they were terming as unconstitutional and illegal head of the state so far. The sources in Pakistan Peoples Party disclosed to The Nation that they would try to exert tremendous pressure on President Musharraf in next couple of weeks by passing resolutions from all the four provincial assemblies and would try their level best that things should not drag to the stage of tabling impeachment motion.