ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan’s visit to Karachi during the past week was deferred on the directives of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as he wanted him in Islamabad after the Pathankot airbase attack and the New Delhi’s accusation of its linkage with Pakistan.

So, for the whole week Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan remained busy holding meetings with top intelligence agencies officials examining the leads given by the Indian authorities establishing links of the terrorists with Pakistan.

But sources in the government said that it was not the only reason for keeping him away from Karachi where as per the commitment made with the Sindh Chief Minister by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that he (Interior Minister) would come to the port City to allay the concerns of the Sindh govt about the extension in Rangers stay and powers by setting aside the restrictions placed on it by the Sindh govt.

Prime Minister on the advice of some of his close aides wanted to himself have another round of talks with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah to resolve the issue and that was the reason the visit of Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan was deferred, the sources said.

These sources said that the Prime Minister would likely visit Karachi in coming days and would again be discussing the issue of Rangers role and their ambit of operations in the port City with Sindh Government and other stakeholders.

A senior ruling party leader said that hostile position taken by the PPP leadership against the government could also be the reason of the deferment of Interior Minister’s visit to Karachi, as in the given circumstances some meaningful talks and breakthrough on the issue is not possible.

Some insiders in the ruling party said that during the last visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Karachi, Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan had some rough conversation with Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah over the Rangers powers issue, so they are linking the deferment of the visit to it.

But a senior party leader, who is also part of Federal Cabinet, dispelled the impression and said that after Pathankot airbase attack and its follow up developments Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had directed Interior Minister to stay back in Islamabad to handle the situation, as he was in Sri Lanka at that time.

He further said that Interior Minister would definitely be visiting Karachi in a next few days, most probably in the company of Prime Minister, to resolve the issue of Rangers powers with Sindh Government.

Sources in PPP said that Sindh Government, though committed to elimination of militancy from the port City, would not accept the Federal Government’s stance on setting aside the Sindh Assembly resolution placing restriction on the Rangers and would be contemplating on other legal and political options to resolve it.

These sources said that the stay of Rangers in Karachi was extended for another 60 days and even if not resolved by the Federal Government within this time line it would resurface on expiry of the time period on February 5 or 6.

If the issue between the Federal and Sindh Government could not be settled by that time, which seemed so keeping in view the growing tension between the ruling PML-N and PPP, the Sindh govt could adopt legal course and take the matter to Supreme Court or they could take an extreme position and can ask the Federal Government to withdraw Rangers from the province, a legal expert in PPP commented when asked about the other options Sindh govt could exercise.