ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will likely to visit Karachi on Monday to take up with Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah the controversy over the Rangers’ powers.

Sources in the ruling PML-N told The Nation that the prime minister was not comfortable with the tussle between the federal and Sindh governments over the Rangers’ powers and wanted to see the matter sorted out through negotiations for which some of his close aides were already in touch with the main leadership of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

In another development, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has summoned Farooq H Naek to Dubai to have a detailed legal reflection on the centre-Sindh tussle over the Rangers’ powers, a senior party leader revealed, adding the option of moving the Supreme Court of Pakistan would also come under discussion at the meeting, provided the provincial government had proper locus standi in the case.

Previously, at a high-level meeting on the issue, the prime minister had categorically said the government could not afford to lose the gains of the Karachi operation. But, at the same time, he directed some of his close political aides to resolve the issue with the Sindh government through negotiations.

Amidst the tussle between the federal and provincial governments, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided to step in to resolve the issue. For this purpose, he would likely be visiting Karachi where he would be meeting all the stakeholders and hopefully the matter would be resolved amicably, a senior PML-N leader said.

A couple of days back, Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Information Maula Bux Chandio, in a media chat, asked the prime minister to talk to the Sindh chief minister to resolve the issue lingering on for quite some time to the disadvantage of the political dispensation.

He dispelled the impression that the Sindh government was against the ongoing Rangers’ operation and said PPP was an ardent supporter of the operation against militants in the port city of Karachi, quickly adding they wanted to have things within the precincts of the Constitution.

It is pertinent to mention here that the federal government on Friday last had issued a notification to extend the powers of Rangers in Sindh, turning down the letter of the Sindh government wherein it had placed certain bars on Rangers’ operation in the port city.

While granting policing powers to Rangers, it was stated in the notification that the Sindh government should take into account articles 148 and 149 in addition to the Article 147. Articles 147 and 149 better suit the current situation regarding Rangers’ policing powers in Karachi.

Article 148 holds the federal government responsible to protect the province from internal and external threats. Article 149 states that a province could use its executive authority if it does not hinder the federation’s authority, it added.

The province had extended paramilitary force’s stay in Karachi for two months on the condition of approaching the government authority before raiding a public office or making any arrest.

On December 22, the federal government restored Rangers’ authority in Karachi without any condition. Sindh’s recommendations were discarded by the federation.

On Thursday, the Sindh government had written a letter to the federation regarding the issue and termed the federation’s move an ‘attack on Sindh’.