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Pakistan: The Myth of an Islamist Peril

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In a new Carnegie Policy Brief, Pakistan: The Myth of an Islamist Peril, Visiting Scholar Frederic Grare argues that the risk of an Islamist takeover in Pakistan is a myth invented by the Pakistani military to consolidate its hold on power. In fact, religious political parties and militant organizations are manipulated by the Pakistani Army to achieve its own objectives, domestically and abroad. The army, not the Islamists, is the real source of insecurity on the subcontinent. Sustainable security and stability in the region will be achieved only through the restoration of democracy in Pakistan. Grare suggests that the West should actively promote the demilitarization of Pakistan's political life through a mix of political pressure and capacity building. Enlarging the pool of elites and creating alternative centers of power will be essential for developing a working democracy in Pakistan.