ISLAMABAD - The efforts to resolve the standoff between the political forces and President Musharraf on his exit and the modus operandi to oust him finally yielded results. Under the arrangements mediated between the two sides, President Musharraf would step down ahead of initiation of impeachment process and in return the political dispensation would not create any trouble, whatsoever, for him whether he would stay here or go abroad, most probably for America. The sources privy to the developments taking place on the front for past over a week said Musharraf was weighing his options. After hectic consultations and threadbare discussions on it with his legal and political confederates, he has finally decided to call it a day but before leaving the summit he secured guarantees from the incumbent political dispensation through military and some foreign guarantors that he would be given complete immunity after his bowing out of the office. The sources close to Presidency disclosed to TheNation that Musharraf was more under pressure to call it a day from the military establishment than the political dispensation, which was exerting pressure on him to quit otherwise they would come up with the impeachment proceedings against him. The sources were of the view the harsh stand taken by PML-N against Musharraf that they would not give him a safe passage as mere rhetoric and an attempt on part of PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif to derive some solace out of it for his 'old wounds'. Otherwise the military establishment, which also wanted exit of Gen (r) Musharraf, would not let anyone to drum out their former chief as most of them would take his humiliation as their insult. The sources in the PPP disclosed that Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari did not want confrontation at this stage with any of the state institution and that was the reason he was also in favour of giving Musharraf a safe passage. The going about with passage of resolutions from all the four provincial assemblies demanding of President Musharraf to get fresh vote of confidence from his electoral college was actually a brainchild of Asif Zardari and the whole philosophy behind it was to exert maximum pressure on Musharraf. In the meantime some foreign guarantors had also stepped in the process to break the impasse between the government and President Musharraf and they had backdoor contacts with all the stakeholders giving and taking guarantees from both sides to materialise the safe passage for the President. The sources in the political dispensation disclosed that both sides had reached some broad consensus on giving immunity to President Musharraf and he would be free to live here or go abroad. At the same time all his assets would remain intact and he would not be questioned about any of his act in any court of law. Meanwhile, the coalition government would likely put the impeachment process in action by Monday and after getting the requisition of joint sitting from the ruling coalition, the Speaker National Assembly would sent the chargesheet to President Musharraf and if the President would decide to contest it, the joint sitting of the Parliament would be summoned and the impeachment proceedings would be initiated after seven days of filing of the requisition. But the sources said that as the things were settled, the matter would not go to that extent and President would quit before the initiation of the impeachment proceedings. TAIL PIECE: The sources close to the Aiwan-e-Sadr disclosed to TheNation that the staff of President Musharraf had started packing their luggage after getting the air of his stepping down and that too within next few days. Agencies add: Musharraf's aides are in talks with the ruling coalition to secure a deal under which he could quit to avoid facing impeachment or criminal charges, officials said Friday. Musharraf's spokesman condemned 'malicious' Western newspaper reports that he would stand down, but allies and coalition officials both indicated that the US-backed former general was considering his resignation. "Talks are underway and many people are interested that the issue is settled amicably without going into the impeachment of President Pervez Musharraf," key ally and former deputy information minister Tariq Azim told AFP. Azim refused to rule out the possibility that Musharraf could quit, saying only: "There is no question of him leaving Pakistan." Another option was to "reduce status of the president to a figurehead" without the powers to dissolve parliament and appoint armed forces chiefs, Azim said. Azim said it was taking the ruling coalition a long time to compile a list of impeachment charges against Musharraf, making it a long, drawn process "which will be harmful to the country." "Because the impeachment process is very harmful to the country and may damage the country, we have to find a middle ground through reconciliation and talks," Azim said. Azim said that talks with the lead party in the ruling coalition - the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) - "are going in the right direction." One option is for Musharraf to resign "provided there are guarantees," he said. "As I read the president, he will never leave the country and wants to stay here," Azim said. Major General Rashid Qureshi, Musharraf's spokesman, rejected reports in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post and Financial Times that Musharraf would resign as early as in the next 48 hours. Qureshi rejected the "totally baseless and malicious... recent spate of unsubstantiated news reports and rumours being spread that President Pervez Musharraf was resigning." "Such unsubstantiated reports were creating uncertainty and negatively impacting the economy of the country," he said in a statement. Our monitoring desk adds: Faced with desertions by his political supporters and the unsettling neutrality of the Pakistani military, President Pervez Musharraf is expected to resign in the next few days rather than face impeachment, Pakistani politicians and Western diplomats said Thursday according to New York Times. His departure from office seems likely to unleash new instability in the country as the two main parties in the civilian government jockey for his share of power. It would also remove from the political stage the man who has served as the Bush administration's main ally here for the last eight years. The details of how Mr Musharraf would exit, and whether he would be able to stay in Pakistan or would seek residency abroad, are now under discussion between representatives of Mr Musharraf and the governing coalition, the politicians said. Mr Musharraf would probably leave in the "next 72 hours," Sheikh Mansoor Ahmed, a senior official of the Pakistan People's Party, the major party in the coalition, said Thursday. What remained to be worked out were guarantees for Mr Musharraf's physical safety if he stayed in Pakistan, or where he would go into exile. Among the places that Mr Musharraf is said to favour if he goes abroad are Dubai, Turkey, the United Kingdom or the United States, though his strong preference is to stay in Pakistan, Pakistani politicians familiar with the negotiations said. Mr Musharraf also wants immunity from prosecution for any impeachable deeds, which the governing coalition appears willing to grant if he steps down, they said. The question of who would succeed Mr Musharraf is a subject of almost as much manoeuvring within the coalition as the plan to get rid of him. Last week the leaders of the two major parties in the coalition announced that they would seek Mr Musharraf's impeachment on charges that include illegally suspending the Constitution and imposing emergency rule last November and wrongly dismissing nearly 60 judges under that decree. Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the junior partner in the coalition, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, has demanded that if Mr Musharraf is impeached, a trial must follow, a proceeding that would be very messy and could rip the country apart. Since the parties' announcement, inexorable pressure has built on Mr Musharraf to take a way out of the crisis that would save him from embarrassing revelations during impeachment proceedings and that would protect the nation from prolonged political agony. Now Mr Musharraf is expected to resign before the coalition can present the charges before Parliament early next week, said Nisar Ali Khan, a senior official in the Pakistan Muslim League-N. His departure would present new challenges for the United States, which has sought to preserve Mr Musharraf as an ally in the fight against the Taliban and militants with Al Qaeda. But the momentum of events here is such that Mr Musharraf's American allies have become virtual bystanders as his rule appears close to an end. A senior administration official in Washington said American officials had chosen not to get involved in the deliberations over Mr Musharraf's fate, having concluded that his presidency was unsalvageable. The official said it was unlikely that Mr Musharraf could stay in Pakistan, citing threats to his safety, but added that there had been no discussion of offering him asylum in the United States. Until now, anchored by the personal relationship between Mr Bush and Mr Musharraf, the United States had steadfastly supported the Pakistani president, frequently infuriating the four-month-old civilian coalition. More recently, as American officials have demanded greater action against militants based in Pakistan, they have begun trying to build better relations with the political parties. "Now the reaction from the American friends is positive," Mr Khan said. The Bush administration has also shifted much of its focus to Mr Musharraf's successor as army chief, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who has pledged to keep the military out of politics. The neutrality of the military has actually tipped the scales against Mr Musharraf, said Arif Nizami, editor of the daily newspaper The Nation. "They are not even putting pressure on the civilians" to stop the president's ouster, Mr Nizami said of the military. "They are saying, 'If you do it according to the book, it's none of our business.' They have pushed against Mr Musharraf." Musharraf gave a routine but subdued Independence Day address on Wednesday, calling for reconciliation. But by then many of his supporters had already left him. Monitoring Desk adds: The mediating efforts by the US and UK ambassadors to save President Pervez Musharraf from the proposed impeachment and other allegations of severe nature including treason have entered the final phase, reported the BBC Friday, quoting officials. The US and UK ambassadors have called on various political bigwigs in Islamabad and Lahore during last few days and dialogues have now entered a phase to settle down certain things about Musharraf's resignation and providing a safe passage to him. An important announcement in this connection is expected on Monday. Talking to the BBC, PML-Q senator Tariq Azeem said: "Some people are trying to settle down things with reconciliation, as impeachment is not in country's favour." When asked, he said that the people who had played a role in national reconciliation between late Benazir Bhutto and Pervez Musharraf, were also active now, and former high commissioner of the UK Mark Lyall Grant was among them. Talking about the safe passage, Tariq Azeem said: "It doesn't mean that President will leave Pakistan, rather I am sure, he'll stay here." The BBC quoting high officials reported as the time of impeachment is approaching, the President through the mediators has put forth certain demands in exchange for his resignation. These demands are: indemnity to Nov-3 steps including judges' removal and all benefits of retirement that must include protocol with assurance that he would not put under any trial after resignation.