Islamabad: The greatest threat to democracy is from "militants who want to foist their political agenda on the people", Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said on Thursday.
In a message on the occasion of International Democracy Day, Zardari called for defeating militancy and extremism and to advance democratic values.
"The greatest threat to democracy is from the extremists and militants who want to foist their political agenda on the people by bullet rather than ballot and also from intolerance to dissent and disagreement," Associated Press of Pakistan quoted him as saying.
"Let us on this day pledge to fight the dark forces of militancy and extremism and allow the blossoming of democratic culture in the country," Zardari said.
He said that despite setbacks to democracy "our people have not allowed dictatorship to take roots in the country".
He added: "Our march on the road to democracy continues. During the year 2011 democracy took yet another stride forward in Pakistan when the people of tribal areas were given their democratic rights with consensus."