ISLAMABAD (APP) President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday said the government was focussing on a policy of reconciliation and tolerance, and would never let the non-state actors to take the country hostage and force it going into a war. Addressing participants of a security course at the National Defence University (NDU), the president called for building up the capability of the defence forces to meet any challenge. He said Pakistan desired peaceful co-existence with all neighbours but the country and the nation would remain vigilant and prepared for any eventuality. President Zardari said under the present circumstances, there would be no cut on the defence expenditure as the country was fighting a war for its survival. We cannot afford to cut down allocations for the armed forces, he said, adding that budgets had been slashed in other sectors. He pointed to the fact that wars were never a solution to resolve issues, saying, War is not a part of democratic mindset. President Zardari said the best scenario for terrorists was to be able to operate freely in a 'no-state environment, where their structure overpowered the state apparatus. However, he said, We should not allow a few to take us to a war, or make us hostage to implement their agendas. Referring to govts policy, he said his government had come up with a doctrine of engaging everyone with a focus on the reconciliation and tolerance. He pointed to a fact that security and defence were depended on a sound economic base and Pakistan was taking all measures to put the economy back on track. He said Islamabad had been urging the international community to give Pakistan and the region a 'Marshal Plan for rebuilding the economy ravaged by war against terror. Zardari referred to the current growth rate of around 4 per cent, saying he desired a rapid rise so that the government could deliver to the have-nots. He recalled the role played by the people in handling the 2.5 million internally displaced persons and said it reflected the strength of the nation, adding that adverse situations could be changed into opportunities. The president also warned against the pitfalls and the challenges that the country faced and said he raised the slogan of 'Pakistan Khappay (Long Live Pakistan) at a time when the nation was passing through a critical period. He said Shaheed Benazir Bhutto always believed that if she abandoned the field to the terrorists, they would have won by default. So she opted to stand up to them. President Zardari also spoke about governments engagements with China, Turkey, the European Union and the United States and how it tried to transform the existing ties into more meaningful economic cooperation. During the question and answer session, Zardari said the government had taken up the water issue with India. About the situation in Balochistan, he pointed to the steps that have been taken to win the trust of people, adding that a road network was being completed to fully operationalise the Gwadar Port. Regarding the energy crisis, the president said plans were afoot for meeting energy needs through RPPs and other projects besides building 12 small and medium dams in the country. He also announced an allocation of Rs 50 million for a new faculty of Contemporary Sciences at the NDU in the current financial year and said the government would meet the total requirements of Rs 247 million for the project. Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Tariq Majid and Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman were also present on the occasion.