Pakistan has hinted that an operation could be launched against militants in Punjab on the pattern of the ongoing offensive in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan as authorities have arrested seven men for the carnage in two mosques in Lahore. The prospects that such an operation could be in the offing was indicated by Interior Minister Rehman Malik while talking to a private TV channel. Acknowledging that Punjab-based groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba had joined hands with the Taliban and al Qaeda, Malik said an operation could be launched against them in the southern part of Punjab. "The terrorists who have been hiding in southern Punjab have now surfaced," said Malik. "Our action will be stronger now because we can't tolerate such killings." "There will be an operation in southern Punjab on the pattern of the tribal areas," Malik was quoted as saying by the channel. The minister visited the channel's office to condole the death of one of its employees during last week's terrorist attack on an Ahmedi mosque. Malik said groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba had joined hands with the Taliban and al Qaeda to destabilise Pakistan. Members of these groups from Punjab had gone to the tribal areas and received training there. "They then came back to Punjab and became part of sleeper cells. Those militants who were hiding in South Punjab are now surfacing," he said. Meanwhile Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said there were no particular "pockets of militants" in southern Punjab that could be targeted. "An operation on the pattern of the one underway in the tribal areas can never be envisaged in the southern or any other part of the province," Sanaullah said. The comments of the interior minister came days after the gruesome carnage carried out by the Punjab unit of the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) in two mosques in Lahore in which 95 people belonging to the minority Ahmedia sect were killed. Police said seven men have been arrested over the past two days from different parts of the province for the attacks. The arrested militants belong to variety of groups but police refused to give the names of the groups. The arrests were made on information given by one of the militants captured during the attacks. "We have strong leads," Lahore police chief said, adding "we hope to capture all the handlers and backers of the attackers soon". The attack was claimed by Punjab unit of the TTP.