President Musharraf must be cursing now for letting so many TV channels functional in the country, which miss no opportunity to pull the ground from under his feet. Last weekend the country was ablaze with all sorts of rumours, thanks to these channels reporting day in and day out about the President quitting both his office and Army Chief's residence. The plot thickened when they further announced that next 24 hours crucial for the survival of the President. Most of the reporting done by these TVs was based upon a news report showing as if all is not well between the Army Chief and Musharraf with the former not ready to listen to him any more or be part of his plans, if any, to invoke 58-2(B) to bring down the assemblies and so the new government. The report claimed that the President was ready to step down, while quoting his close friends. The report most interestingly, coincided with the replacement of 111 Brigade's top commando, perceived to be a Musharraf loyalist. This is the brigade, which is responsible for the security of Islamabad and Rawalpindi and usually springs into action during the military take-overs. As the TV channels went berserk, with Musharraf becoming the focal point of all the attention, Presidency and ISPR both were clueless and at pains to put back genie in the bottle, seen futilely fire fighting and denying the contents of the news report, which created the whole commotion in the first place. No doubt, the pressure is mounting on the President to call it a day whether he likes it or not, or more precisely whether his foreign backers like it or not. The situation took a turn for the worse when out of the blue Zardari took some decisive pot shots against the President, describing him as the relic of the past, standing between the people and real democracy. He once also mildly hinted at his impeachment, saying the government has got the right numbers for this purpose. Again, on another occasion, Zardari said that PPP never considered President as the constitutional head of the state. All these statements came one after the other, building fiercest momentum against the President, diverting attention from not only judges issue but from Zardari himself for dithering over the same issue. As Zardari went in the background after his initial outbursts, Nawaz Sharif picked up the thread and even went a step further. Nawaz in his sentimental speech on the occasion of Youm-i-Takbeer in Lahore, asked the government not to let Musharraf run away. "He should be punished for what he has done to save the country from future martial laws. Both President and PML (N) Quaid are face to face now. Nawaz claimed that Presidency was the hotbed of conspiracies against him. The President in his own turn alleged that all activities against him were sponsored from Lahore. Only time will tell who gets whom in this war of nerves and words. Zardari must be credited for showing a new light to the lawyers. They too seemed to be after Musharraf now, with reinstatement of judges slipping behind in their scheme of things. They have announced a long march on June 10. The march is supposed to be this time culminated in front of Army Chief's House where Musharraf resides. Ali Ahmad Kurd the other day at Peshawer announced that on June 10 they would first go after the President and then reinstate judges. A new crisis is waiting to happen for the government and other stakeholders, if the lawyers really go to this extent. Already the talk of his removal and punishing him for committing treason is getting louder and louder. Of recently even the leaders of Lawyers' movement and ex-army men have joined the bandwagon. But on his part Musharraf is not ready to step down. It is now more than crystal clear that US government is behind him to stay put in his office, till further orders. Taking clues from the US government, the political circles contend that the time is not ripe for Musharraf to go. But how long, as the pressure is mounting. Now Lawyers have decided to settle their scores with him. The emerging scenario is conducive for Asif Zardari to clinch more concession from the President feeling heat from all sides now. Even the US government will be double-minded given the growing public sentiments. The constitutional package the PPP has prepared is ready to be introduced in the Parliament. This package seeks to clip his wings for good, setting stage for the government to wage final battle against him, probably. The package for its smooth sailing will be requiring nod from President. The build-up against Musharraf will help the government in squeezing maximum from him. Also, it will strengthen Zardari's bargaining position vis--vis Musharraf and his foreign backers to negotiate President's exit at the earliest, sooner the better for the country once again in the grip of political instability and uncertainty. E-mail: nadeemsyed@nation.com.pk