IT is rather depressing that despite several rounds of talks between the PPP and PML(N) to resolve the judicial crisis, the stalemate continues. The talks in Raiwind proved no different from those that were held earlier. There is indeed little consolation in the assurance on part of both the parties that the dialogue would soon resume. The deadlock also points that both the sides are eager to take the credit of the whole movement for an independent judiciary by reinstating the judges. That however could turn into a zero-sum game, which could have severe repercussions for the country's overall stability. But the fact of the matter is that despite PML(N) making some concessions, the PPP seems to be making things more complex. The PPP's recent proposal of increasing the number of SC judges has added yet another stumbling block in the way of a smooth and timely restoration. Such a scenario is not only a source of utter disappointment for the masses who are already troubled by an economy that cripples them, a deteriorating law and order situation and an enervating energy crisis, it could rock the coalition's boat. Though he was prudent enough to clarify it later, saying that the decision would be taken after consultation with the coalition partners, Asif Zardari's observation a few days back that the PPP would have a President of its own choice poured oil on the coalition's troubled waters. In Punjab, because of the appointment of a governor which the PML(N) thought controversial, has already inflamed passions on both sides. Such a state of affairs goes against the spirit of running a coalition. At present, however, the confusion of the PPP over the President's impeachment would further muddy the waters. What is more, instead of coming out firmly with a clear stand, the government has started to give hints that this matter too could go on indefinitely into the future. This only implies a lack of political will. The government must get the message from the Long March. It certainly needs to put its act together. The future of the President and the restoration of the judges are the two vexing issues that have confounded the nation today. Though it was good to see the protestors who had gathered from the four provinces maintain discipline that however should in no way be taken as their weak point. In case the leadership fails to live up to the people's expectations, the movement led by the legal fraternity along with other members of civil society has the potential to assume extravagant proportions. The other day, SCBA President Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, while speaking to a private TV channel about the Long March, said that next time, the legal activists may choose to display their show of strength in a rather aggressive manner.