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Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif. — Photo by APP/File

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday said widespread killings of innocent citizens had brought democracy and the existing set-up into question, adding that if the current circumstances persisted, Pakistan may turn into "a failed state", DawnNews reported.

Speaking to media representatives, the chief minister said terrorism was at its peak in the country, adding that if concrete action was not taken against those responsible, the country's foundations may begin to shake.

The chief minister’s statement comes days after the bombing in Quetta which claimed the lives of over 87 Shia Hazaras. A large number of women and children were among the dead.

The Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) leader moreover said world powers had used militants in the 1980s to fight their so-called war against Soviet communism and now the same militants were terrorists in the eyes of these powers.

Sharif said it was heartening that the country's media was proactive and critical. He added that the real power of the media and the judiciary would become evident in the upcoming general election.