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How a vibrant media can thwart a coup

No coup is about to take place in a Pakistan where the independent media has ensured that every move by every player on the national power scene is examined threadbare. This exercise in itself is both a leveller and a restrainer. Had there been an independent electronic media in October 1999 there would have been no coup. Examination of every move gives a fair share of public hearing and also self-examination, to all players. The resulting public censure, or approval, now informs the power players of the limits of their power, constitutional or otherwise. So while in the coming days we will see and hear some trial ballooning, some real moves, some political rhetoric, some bombastic claims, some propaganda, some shadow-boxing as well as alarmist breaking news, none of this is likely to send the president, prime minister, or the army or ISI chief packing.

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