LONDON (AFP) - President Ali Asif Zardari must make fighting militancy in the border regions with Afghanistan his top priority, a leading think-tank said Thursday. But he faces a tough job to gain the trust of the Army, which could ultimately threaten his government, said the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in its annual review of global geopolitical security. "Zardari's top priority is to fight terrorism and militancy in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan," said John Chipman, head of the prestigious London think-tank, launching the Strategic Survey 2008 report. "But the Pakistani Army remains unable or unwilling to counter effectively the resurgent Taliban with over 110,000 troops deployed in the area." US and Afghan officials claim Pakistan's tribal areas are a safe haven for Al-Qaeda and Taliban rebels who took sanctuary there after the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in late 2001. But Islamabad has vowed to defend itself against violations of its airspace and incursions by US forces from Afghanistan, straining the relationship between the "war on terror" allies. "Zardari's major challenge will be to gain the trust of the Army and build a consensus against terrorism and extremism among the political establishment," Chipman told reporters. "To pursue the campaign on terror, he will need to balance the conflicting interests of growing US pressure for military strikes in the tribal areas with the Pakistani Army's decreasing tolerance for such attacks." He added: "In order to reduce public opposition to such a policy, he needs to build bridges with the major Opposition political parties. "Most importantly, President Zardari will need to ensure that the ensuing domestic political turbulence, heightened by the growing economic crisis, does not place his own government at risk from the Army." Attention was migrating away from Iraq to Afghanistan and the worsening situation on the Pakistan border, Chipman said.