ON a second consecutive day, Mr Asif Zardari has hinted at a possible course of action the PPP leadership till recently had ruled out as a practical option. The issue of impeachment of the President was taken up on Saturday in response to a question by reporter, but on Sunday he mentioned it on his own. The PPP, he said, was in a position now to muster support for impeachment. Mr Zardari, however, maintained that he still preferred conciliation over confrontation. There is a perception that the PPP would like the President to voluntarily step down by bowing to the public sentiment as expressed in the February elections. There are many who consider this might constitute the last chance for a graceful departure. Any decision by the President at footdragging or confrontation is bound to bring him into collision with the National Assembly as well as a number of political parties outside the Assemblies, the legal community and a large section of civil society. The confrontation could turn out to be disastrous. As a conciliatory move towards the legal community and the deposed judges, Mr Zardari has reportedly agreed to extend the tenure of the CJ from the initially proposed three years to five years. This should silence critics like Qazi Hussain Ahmad, who maintains that the constitutional package was in fact meant to get rid of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. This should also make the legal community and the deposed judges ponder over the consequences of an inflexible stand. While Mian Nawaz Sharif has also agreed to keep the justices who had taken oath under PCO as ad hoc judges, albeit under protest, the deposed Chief Justice wants all those who violated the November 3 order of the Supreme Court to be prosecuted. While some might consider it an ideal stand, it might not be practical keeping in view the balance of forces on ground. It is time the leaders of the lawyers' community sit down with the coalition leadership to find a way out so that they can reach a negotiated settlement, even if the achievement is only partial. Mr Zardari's policy of conciliation has produced mixed results. It has brought together the PPP and PML(N) who have been involved in no-holds-barred fights in the past. While sporadic incidents of violence continue to take place in Balochistan, the release of Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Mir Shahzain Bugti has generated hopes that, with further measures taken by the government, peace might return to the province. Talks with the Pakistani Taliban have led to peace in Swat and the two Waziristan Agencies while they have also brought an end to suicide bombing. The PPP needs to do more to accommodate the lawyers' point of view to ensure the independence of judiciary and the restoration of deposed judges in a way which is in consonance with their dignity.