Public protests, by their very nature, have the potential to provide dramatic newsworthy pictures of violence perpetrated by protestors, counter-protestors, police officers or all three. Similarly protests may escalate into full scale riots, be controlled in a heavy-handed and para-militarised manner or move peacefully and without incident. Yet, weeks of mental and physical torture have led to the belief that that there is no necessary correlation between events happening on the ground and the subsequent reporting of those events as news. Moreover, this disconnect between news media representations of public protests and actual events is being seen to favour a hidden political perspective which has fuelled anger among public. Just few news stories disclosed protest groups’ concerns and the Minister of State saying he was ‘taking up’ the possibility of other options to justify a heavy-handed policing operation. Nevertheless, when, as predicted, protesters refused to give away in their demands the inferential structure de-crystallised and have once gone back to the drawing board. This, in turn, left the problem of chaos on roads unabated. The police, in contrast, are being seen as the ‘thin blue line’ and soldiers of inexcusable weak cavalry. The collective public opinion is that Islamabad police has come under siege from demonstrators parked at the Faizabad Interchange for over one week. Equally important is the indifference and apathy shown by the Federal Interior Minister involving disruption and sufferings of the people living in the twin cities. A few brave journalists have expressed reservations about what is viewed as the government’s disproportionate, treatment of protesters. There is wider criticism of the government’s tactic of ‘kettling’ that is keeping protestors blocking Islamabad for days. What is important to establish here is that does press coverage both reflect and reinforce an explicit inferential structure built around the default news frame of ‘protester violence’ so that protests then develop into a story of unqualified and intentional protester violence against the forces of law and order and respectable society. Initial few days were interpreted within this inferential structure; however it has so far been proven as wrong tactic and information hidden from public is causing more unrest than the media publicity risk. Especially when it has been tainted with a tragic and avoidable death of a young boy. People identify a range of political grievances, but at the heart of their complaints is a pervasive sense of injustice Analytically speaking, rapid stabilisation of the initial inferential structure is being sustained on a number of levels: at the macro level, by gagging orders in the information-communications cell and the attitudes of both police and the authority to public; at the micro-level, by poor police-public relations and the immediate and historic problems of operational integrity and institutional authority facing both the Federal Interior Ministry and the law enforcing agencies. In this unstable and unpredictable news media environment, the role of the government and politicians can no longer be taken for granted and their super-ordinate status within the hierarchy of credibility can no longer be assumed. Social media provides a valuable additional source of real-time information that may challenge or confirm the institutional version of events. However, it is when people challenge the official truth, as portrayed by those powerful institutional sources who have traditionally maintained a relatively uncontested position at the top of the hierarchy of credibility, that it becomes most potent as a news resource. Though the protesters have so far turned out to be largely peaceful, the event is still in line with the dominant inferential structure — the ‘framework of violence’ — and thus it is the issue of violence, minimal though it is, that provides ‘the news’. Federal Interior Minister of the State briefing provided the press with a temporal framework for predicting how events would unfold. Similarly these protesting groups are using a range of media to communicate their plans and exchange views on how the days of protest would develop, where the ‘flashpoints’ would be, and the likelihood that the police would overreact remains unknown but the ordinary commuting public are getting increasingly frustrated and angry. A major political debate about the gradually angry mob and the appropriate policy response is strictly under way, though in its early stages it is probably fair to say that it is characterised more by rhetoric than evidence. What is missing is one bad moment, particularly in connection with the public themselves. It will lead to the disturbances, people riot, or violence on streets. What would lay in their minds as they do so and, would these riots be similar to, or qualitatively different from, what we have seen before? The critical flashpoint for violent confrontations would be the ‘Put People First’ rally by the ordinary public or the actual display of violence by the protestors. According to the police it would not be a problem because they had created a sterile environment at the different access areas, making it impossible for large numbers of protestors to gather there. In contrast, climate is changing and public mood is volatile. Widespread anger and frustration at the way police is engaging with communities can become a significant cause of violent mood among the public. Deep seated visceral antipathy towards lack lustre attempts by authorities can give an unprecedented reaction that may drive people to participate in serious bout of civil unrest. People identify a range of political grievances, but at the heart of their complaints is a pervasive sense of injustice. For some this is economic, for others it is more broadly social: how they feel they are being treated compared with others. The most common complaint relates to people’s everyday experience of travelling and living, with many expressing deep frustration at the way people in their communities are being subjected to mental tension. People feel that a complex mix of grievances can bring them on to the streets but analysts would identify distrust and antipathy toward government as a key driving force. In the face of such apparent hopelessness, it is perhaps unsurprising that many of those suffering think that there is more trouble ahead. Not least, it seems, because many feel that little is likely to change. Amid the sense that the rule of law which is suspended, many feel government is being over defensive to avoid consequences. Our concerns will be two-fold. First, to examine the rights of the protestors as they unfold and the work undertaken by the authorities to negotiate. The policing of the dharnas and protests have caused a certain amount of controversy. Secondly, some senior religious figures are openly critical about the anguish suffered by ordinary people due these protests and subsequently there is a growing sense of frustration feelings among people about the origins of the decision to let the protest unresolved for this long. The writer is the Director of Quality Assurance at Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University in Islamabad. He is also the head of Department of Behavioral Sciences STMU and is a consultant psychiatrist at Shifa International Hospital Published in Daily Times, November 18th 2017.