WASHINGTON - President Asif Ali Zardari said in an article published in The Washington Post Friday that the Pakistani military backs the policies of his government, as he vowed to meet the dual challenges of boosting economic development and fighting terrorism. "Some Western reports suggest the Pakistani military does not support the policies of our democratic government. This is not true," he said in an opinion piece in the newspaper. "Not only is our military courageously battling extremists in Swat and Waziristan, and succeeding, but our troops also are supporting the country's democratic transition and adherence to our Constitution," he added. In the article, Zardari explained the steps taken by his government to combat the ongoing economic crisis, saying he is "working with Parliament to run a country, not a political campaign", adding that "in time, good policies will become good politics". The President also defended his decision to raise fuel prices and taxes, saying it was the government's duty to stick to the course of "fiscal responsibility, social accountability and financial transparency". Admitting that such measures were extremely unpopular, Zardari said that such steps were necessary to tackle the recession and meet the standards set by the International Monetary Fund to receive further financial assistance for Pakistan. " The war against terrorism has cost Pakistan not just in lives but also in economic terms, freezing international investment and diverting priorities from social and other sectors. Despite constant challenges on multiple fronts, we took the political hits and stuck with reform," said Zardari. The President said that even the IMF, World Bank, European Union and US had hailed Pakistan's efforts to "further stabilise the economy, to advance structural reform and lay the foundations for high and sustainable growth". No corrupt government can achieve such a feat, Zardari said. He went on to declare, "Pakistan's economic resurrection has been the product, primarily, of our own sweat and blood." Zardari also took credit for the restoration of democracy, and accused the western nations of sometimes supporting dictatorship to serve their own petty gains. "The West has a moral responsibility to ensure that our democratic transition continues". Zardari said, "If the community of developed democratic nations had, after our last democratic election, crafted an innovative development plan with the scope and vision of the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II, much greater economic, political and military stability would already have been achieved." Targeting his detractors, he said, "Those who found comfort with dictators have resisted change". In an apparent reference to Pakistan's ties with U.S., he said, "Some in Pakistan question our international alliances because they disapprove of our allies' actions. But we are fighting for our lives, and Pakistan's policies cannot be based solely on what is popular." He also cited the example of US Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, who took momentous decisions in spite of wide-spread opposition, and changed the course of history. "They did what was right, not what was popular, and so will we. History has shown the difference between expedient policies and the long-term goals of true statesmen." Vowing to wipe out the scourge of terrorism that is threatening to destabilise Pakistan, Zardari says, "In the end, these sometime unpopular steps will create a Pakistan that sucks the oxygen from the fire of terrorism. Those who are counting on Pakistan to back off the fight -- militarily and economically -- underestimate my country and me".