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President Asif Ali Zardari held an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and Asfandyar Wali Khan, whose Awami National Party is the leading party in the coalition government in North West Frontier Province, where Swat and Buner are located.

“The meeting reiterated that the government will neither compromise on enforcing writ of the state nor allow the militants and nonstate actors to establish their own parallel authority in any part of the country through the use of force,” presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

As fears grew of a new military crackdown on the Taliban, several families in Buner and adjoining areas started fleeing their homes for safer places, Pakistani media reports said.

Gen. Kayani told a meeting of top commanders that a pause in military operations should not be considered a concession to militants and that the army is ready to eliminate those who challenge the government.

“Operational pause, meant to give the reconciliatory forces a chance, must not be taken for a concession to the militants. Army has resolve to fight to eliminate the militants, who endanger the lives of peaceful citizens of the country and challenge the writ of the state,” Gen. Kayani said, according to a military statement.

The army chief said he is aware of the doubts being voiced about the intent as well as the capability of the army to defeat the militancy in the country.

“Pakistan army never has and never will hesitate to sacrifice whatever it may take to ensure safety and well being of people of Pakistan and country’s territorial integrity,” he said.

“With the support of the people, [the] army is determined to root out the menace of terrorism from the society. It will not allow the militants to dictate terms to the government or impose their way of life on the civil society of Pakistan,” Gen. Kayani said.

He also condemned “pronouncements by outside powers raising doubts on the future of the country.”

“A country of 170 million resilient people under a democratic dispensation, strongly supported by the army, is capable of handling any crisis that it may confront. Victory against the terror and militancy will be achieved at all cost,” Gen. Kayani said.

Addressing the National Assembly, Mr. Gilani said the government would review the agreement in Swat if it is not followed.

“We can review the policy and revisit the agreement. We are not bound and are not puppets. We will not accept the decisions which are not in the national interest,” the prime minister said.