NEW YORK: They take over Buner, then they roll into Mardan and thats the end of the game, an unnamed senior law enforcement official in North-West Frontier Province was quoted as saying in The New York Times on Thursday after the district fell to the Taliban. But the Times correspondent in Pakistan said that the capture of the district, home to one million people, did not mean that the Taliban could imminently threaten Islamabad. Yet, correspondent Jane Perlez said, "(I)t was another indication of the gathering strength of the insurgency and it raised new alarm about the ability of the government to fend off an unrelenting Taliban advance toward the heart of Pakistan." The dispatch said heavily armed Taliban militants were patrolling villages on Wednesday, and the local police had retreated to their station houses in much of Buner, officials and residents said. They are everywhere, one resident of Daggar, Buners main city, to NYT by telephone. There is no resistance. A local politician, Jamsher Khan, was quoted as saying that people were initially determined to resist the Taliban in Buner, but that they were discouraged by the deal the government struck with the Taliban in Swat. We felt stronger as long we thought the government was with us, he said by telephone, but when the government showed weakness, we too stopped offering resistance to the Taliban. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she was concerned that Pakistan s government was making too many concessions to the Taliban, emboldening the militants and allowing them to spread by giving in to their demands. I think that the Pakistani government is basically abdicating to the Taliban and to the extremists, Mrs. Clinton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill. She added that the deterioration of security in nuclear-armed Pakistan poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world. A senior American official told NYT Mrs. Clintons remarks were prompted in part by news of the Taliban takeover in Buner. The officials said that the further erosion of government authority in an area so close to the capital ought to stir concern not only in Pakistan but also among influential Pakistanis abroad. The Taliban expansion into Buner has begun to raise alarm among the senior ranks of the Pakistani Army, a Western official who was familiar with the Pakistani military was cited as saying. On Wednesday, one of the highest-ranking army officers traveled from Islamabad to Peshawar and met with the officers of the 11th Corps, the army division based in Peshawar , to discuss the overall situation in Buner, the official said. The militants were helped by the actions of the commissioner of Malakand, Javed Mohammad, who is also the senior official in Swat and who was appointed on the recommendation of the Taliban, the senior law enforcement official said. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that "militants have been moving into Buner since the Swat peace deal was signed with the government in February. But starting Tuesday night they seized control of the entire district, which has a population of more than one million people. Heavily armed militants streaming in from Swat, occupied government offices and set up their own check posts. Terrified residents fled their homes."