Successive Pakistan’s rulers have successfully played the ‘threat from Islamist terrorists’ card’ to blackmail successive U.S. governments during the last five decades plus of the existence of the Islamic Republic but the present ruler General Pervez Musharraf has outdone his predecessors in this regard. The game was an open secret but the U.S. players have preferred to shut their eyes. Perhaps the U.S. faces the Catch-22 situation. An US South Asia expert, Frederic Grare writes in a new Carnegie policy brief: Pakistan: The Myth of an Islamist Peril, released recently that “by focusing on only Islamist militancy, Western governments confuse the consequence and the cause: The army is the problem.” He added western governments should focus on the army which is manipulating the religious fundamentalists. “If one were to believe the headlines, Pakistan is seemingly susceptible to an Islamic take over at any point and the Pakistani army provides the ultimate protection”, says the American scholar. He argues that the risk of an Islamist takeover in Pakistan is a myth invented by the Pakistani military to consolidate its hold on power. Talking about the limited appeal of the Islamist parties, he says: “No Islamist organisation has ever been in a position to politically or miliarily challenge the role of the one and only centre of power in Pakistan – the army. On the contrary, the Pakistani army has used Islamic organisations for its purposes, both at home and abroad.” Grare says Western governments should pressure President Musharraf to crack down on militants (read terrorists) in Kashmir and Afghanistan. He adds that the arms sales to Pakistan only increase the army’s leverage and block major internal reforms and is an implicitly endorses military policies. However, the study has preferred to overlook the fact that the U.S. too itself was a party to encourage Islamist obscurantists and fundamentalists in Pakistan. The U.S. rose from slumber only after 9/11.