Pakistan's Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf today said stern action would be taken against all banned militant groups, saying attacks like the recent bombing of a Shia neighbourhood in Karachi were aimed at weakening the country's social fabric.
"Directions have been issued for carrying out stern action against all the banned outfits without any discrimination not only by me but by the president (Asif Ali Zardari) as well," he said at a dinner in the honour of members of the National Assembly in Islamabad.
"Those who are perpetrating these heinous acts are not only attempting to weaken our social fabric and democratic culture, they are also bringing a bad name to Pakistan and Islam," he said.
The Pakistan People's Party-led government, which is set to complete its five-year term on 16 March, has come in for strong criticism for its failure to prevent attacks on the minority Shia sect.
A devastating bomb blast in the Shia neighbourhood of Abbas Town in Karachi killed 48 people and injured scores more on 3 March.
Nearly 200 people, a majority of them Shia Hazaras, were killed in two bombings in the southwestern city of Quetta in the first two months of the year.