Zardari calls for Pak civilian leaders' role in fighting out terrorism

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Islamabad, Oct 22 : Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari urged civil and political leaders to confront the war on terror, saying that the military and security agencies "could not be left alone to fight the war".

"This is total war and should be fought in totality, and on multiple fronts," he told participants of a top-level meeting on the FATA and NWFP security situation at the President's House.

"Pakistan's civilian political leadership has successfully confronted terrorism in parts of the country in the past, and drawing lessons from that experience, is determined to carry out the ongoing fight against terrorism to a logical conclusion," the Daily Times quoted Zardari as saying.

Zardari was flanked by Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

NWFP Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti and Interior Adviser Rehman Malik also made presentations on the terror threat and the government's strategy to tackle it.

The President said: "The fight against terrorism is part of a larger struggle to save the country, the federation and its democratic structure. That is why the government has put together the strategy of three Ds - dialogue, development and deterrence - to wipe out the menace."

Referring to the ongoing in-camera parliamentary session on national security, he further said that the government had expanded the consultative process and consult the parliament on the issue, for the elected representatives from across the political divide to own the war.

The president said people in the Tribal Areas were not terrorists but "victims of terrorism". This was the repetition of a statement made by NWFP CM Hoti while addressing the concluding session of a workshop on southern FATA arranged by the Benazir Democracy Institute of the Shaheed Bhutto Foundation on Monday.

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