AS the ruling coalition has decided to impeach General Musharraf, the mood in the Presidential camp is that of defiance. The President cancelled his scheduled visit to Beijing and started consultations with his political allies and legal aides, including Mr Sharifuddin Peerzada.. He said he would defeat all those who tried to push him to the wall. Further, he would prefer to go down fighting rather than give in to "those who are doing so to create more political divisions." Meanwhile, PML(Q) and MQM leaders have announced that they would defend the President in case a move is made to remove him. The option of the use of Article 58(2(b) by the President is also being widely discussed in the media where it is generally being considered impractical on account of the unpopularity of the President and the strong opposition to a move of the type not only from the two mainstream parties but also the ANP, the JUI(F), the APDM, the volatile legal community and wide sections of civil society. The coalition partners can presently muster, with the support of the BNP-Awami, PKMAP, and JWP, 239 votes in the National Assembly and 40 in the Senate. This makes a total of 279, still 16 short of the required two-thirds majority. This would give birth to a race to win over the 40 Independents in both houses and the PML(Q) dissidents, raising the prospects of horse-trading. The Presidential camp would also like to woo dissidents in the coalition parties, like Makhdoom Amin Fahim. Suggestions have been made to the ruling coalition to get resolutions passed from the provincial assemblies against the President to build up pressure against him. This could further raise tensions between the two camps and lead to a countrywide confrontation. There is a need for the President to realise that his unreasonable insistence to remain in office after the elections, which were widely interpreted as a referendum against him, has further brought down his popularity graph. As things stand, he is the most unpopular political figure in the country. By pitting himself against the elected government, he would be widely held responsible for raising the political temperature. The ensuing conflict would add to the grave problems the country is already facing. In case of the move for impeachment succeeding, he would gain the unenviable distinction of being the first ever head of state in Pakistan to be dismissed by Parliament. He can save the country a lot of trouble by resigning voluntarily.