MR Zardari has accused President Musharraf of siphoning off $700 million-$750 million a year from the US aid for armed forces fighting the War on Terror to some undisclosed scheme, hinting that the money might have gone to fund rogue members of a security agency who have been accused by the US of being in cahoots with the militants. He has further accused the President of economic sabotage and fomenting trouble in Balochistan to discredit the government. The charges indicate that the coalition leaders are now set on a course that could take them beyond impeachment. While the PML(Q) leadership has vowed to defend the President, they know they are fighting a losing battle. If press reports are to be believed, the Forward Bloc, the "like-minded " group and the Seraiki faction in the party are all set to go against the party whip. The MQM is weighing its choices and might ultimately decide to support the winning side, despite Mr Asfandyar Wali's remark that the coalition could impeach the President even without MQM support. Another report tells of the Chaudhrys having been forced to take their hardline position only after the failure of their bid for rapprochement with the PML(N). The decision by Mr Aftab Sherpao to support the impeachment out of respect for the ruling coalition, which enjoys the people's support, is the latest shock for the Chaudhrys because Mr Sherpao, whose party has four votes in the two Houses of Parliament, was till recently one of their closest allies. The developments indicate that the establishment, which has played a crucial role in the past to shore up the President, has decided this time to stay neutral. Meanwhile, pressure is increasing on the President to resign. While the ruling coalition and its allies enjoy a formidable majority in Parliament, they also command considerable street power. The PPP demonstration in Karachi on Sunday indicated that they were in a position to pressure the President from both inside and outside Parliament. Deprived of support from what he considered his exclusive constituency, the President is altogether isolated and has to rely on a rootless party, which had failed to collect people even while in power. While his isolation increases, the number of those who demand his public trial is increasing. On Sunday the Ex-Servicemen Society opposed giving the President a safe way out. PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif has also said that instead of giving concessions to the President, the process of accountability has to be taken to its logical conclusion. Unless President Musharraf urgently decides to bow out, he is likely to find himself in a cul de sac.