"If there has been any doubt about the futility of appeasing the militants, these must be removed by the incident in upper Dir today on the eve of International Democracy Day," Zardari said.

His comments came on a day when the Pkaistani Taliban killed Maj Gen Sanaullah, Lt Col Touseef and a Lance Naik in an IED blast in Upper Dir of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The incident led to widespread criticism from analysts and the local media here who questioned the recent resolution of an all party conference to hold talks with the Taliban and other militant groups.

Zardari's PPP was also part of the conference. Zardari paid glowing tributes to all those who laid down their lives and endured imprisonment and exile for the protection and preservation of democracy in the country while also warning the people to the new forms of threats to democracy, an official said.

The former President said the greatest great threat to democracy emanated from the militant mindset who sought to impose their agenda through force. "We must be on the guard against the extremist mindset and must not allow appeasing the militants and extremists," he said. Zardari also warned the people against "yet another dimension of the threat to democracy".

In the past dictators and demagogues forcibly uprooted democratic structures but now threat to the will of the people emanated from imperceptible but systematic encroachment upon the Parliament, the repository of the will of the people, he said.

Democracy loving people throughout the country must be on the guard to protect the constitutional domain of each state organ and not permit the encroachment on any institution by another, he said.

(Agencies)

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