What we have seen during the past few days on Pakistan's media landscape cautions us not to be overly optimistic about the future of that country's "vibrant" news media. There is still a long way to go.
With the accusations about the I.S.I's involvement in another plot against a journalist, the failed assassination attempt has transformed into a major national debate in Pakistan about the army's hostile relationship with the media and desperate attempts to strangulate dissenting voices.
What appears to be a wave of violence against journalists in Karachi is actually a battle between the M.Q.M. and the Taliban for their survival. It is appalling that journalists are becoming the victims of this nasty battle.
While Rushdie may not even know what he has actually done this time to outrage that country's conservative commentators, Malala Yousafzai has indeed landed in hot water for even mentioning The Satanic Verses only once in her recently released autobiography.
The Pakistani talk shows, though exuberant, are for the most part crude, unruly, and uneducated, potentially as detrimental to the dissemination of quality ideas as are the savvy but highly filtered talk shows in the U.S. corporatist media.
Pakistan has announced a reward of 50 million rupees (approximately $520,000) for anyone with information about people involved in a failed plot to assassinate a renowned television journalist last week in Islamabad, the nation's capital.
Despite all criticism, the future of a democratic Pakistan largely hinges on the media. While in some countries free press has emerged from a democratic system, in Pakistan, on the contrary, democracy emerged in 2008 out of a free media.
Politicians negotiating positions, impassioned youth taking to the streets, public debate about important issues -- these are the signs that the people of Pakistan have embraced democracy, not that they are turning it away.