ISLAMABAD - The airwaves, the blogosphere, the SMS circuit, the drawing room chattering classes and the tea stall legions were all abuzz yesterday with rumours of the exit of the President from the national scene (and from the nation itself). The last time there were rumours of the then COAS President Pervez Musharraf calling it quits (or for a coup to have taken place) was two years ago, when a power outage had taken place in the Punjab. Power outages being a regular feature now, thanks to our mammoth power deficit, it takes a stronger incident, in this case a meeting between the COAS and the President, to inspire rumours of the sort. The rumours ranged between the likely (the President having quit, with a plane ready at the airport), the less likely (his having dissolved the Assemblies as per his powers under 58-2b) to the highly unlikely (the Army having staged a coup). The rumours were inspired, no doubt, by news reports in certain sections of the press about a perceived tension between the COAS and the President. Presidential sources say the meeting went of excellently and that it was a pretty routine affair. The assurance expressed by a top US official to a high ranking member of the presidential camp would also appear to rubbish the heap of rumours doing the rounds. The extent to which rumours spread, however, is usually an index of how flimsy the status quo is. The rumour mills are set to continue on this subject till the issue changes drastically, be it the President's actual departure or a realignment of the power structure in the Capital. Umar Aziz Khan