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Pakistan fighting for survival: Zardari

May 23, 2009 22:58 IST

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday said his country was 'fighting the war for its survival' and the military operation against the Taliban was the last resort against militants and extremists who challenged the writ of the state.

He was talking to a delegation of parliamentarians from Swat and Malakand areas, where security forces are engaged in a major offensive against the militants, a statement from the President's Office said.

The President reiterated his resolve towards rooting out militancy and extremism from the North Western Frontier Province and said priority would be given for development of the province. He said the government was confronted with a new challenge and was pursuing the "initiative of Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in the insurgency-hit areas".

The President said his government's focus was on relief and rehabilitation of people displaced from their homes due to the fighting between the security forces and the militants. The UN refugee agency says that over two million people have been displaced from Swat and other areas in northwest.

The President said that the internally displaced people had made huge sacrifices for the survival of the country and the government will do everything possible to rehabilitate them.

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