KARACHI - Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that federal government will provide ‘all possible’ help to the Sindh government for security in Karachi, as the situation in the economic hub affects the entire country.

Talking to media persons on his arrival at airport here, Nisar rejected the rumours that PML-N led central government was planning to impose governor rule in the PPP ruled province.

“No such proposal is under consideration; however, the provincial government is solely responsible for maintaining law and order situation,” he said in response to a question on the issue. The federal minister said he was visiting the port city to review the performance of security agencies and hold consultation with the provincial authorities on the security situation.

Nisar then held meetings with Sindh CM, governor, Rangers DG, PML-F chief Pir Pagara and PML-N local leadership. Talking to the media after his meeting with Pir Pagara at his residence in the city in the evening, Nisar said they discussed the overall political situation and he took the PML-F chief into confidence on presidential candidate of the ruling coalition.

The minister said the security and intelligence agencies have confirmed to him that the law and order problem of city is addressable through sincere steps and taking action against criminals irrespective of their political affiliations. He said in his meeting with Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, he offered federal government’s assistance to Sindh government for maintaining the law and order in the city.

“I have conveyed to the chief minister to end the traditional handling of the matter and take the leading role, while federal government will provide all out support – institutional, physical and intelligence – to the Sindh government”, he said. He emphasised on a clear roadmap to take an across-the-board action against the criminals.

Nisar said he had not come here to play politics or for mere point scoring but to help solve this critical issue. He said the federal government would not remain a silent spectator on the law and order issue. He said the prime minister would also visit Karachi soon and discuss the same issues with the Sindh government.

Earlier, talking to the media on his arrival at the airport, Nisar said, “Situation in Karachi is deteriorating since the last several years. No improvement has been witnessed in this regard even after the installation of new government therein… The law and order situation must improve in Karachi it could not be ignored since its fallout affects economy of the entire country.”

“I had said we give one month to provincial government to improve situation. Reports on governor rule have started coming to fore following this statement while we have not even made any mention of it anywhere. It remains unknown why such things are finding a way in the media,” the minister remarked.

“Running the affairs with slackness is not an option anymore,” Nisar said. To a question he said responsibility of maintaining law and order situation rests with the provincial government. “If federal government has any powers in this regard then I should be told about it,” he held.

To a query about Pakistan’s cooperation with UK in the murder case of MQM leader Imran Farooq, the minister said that Britain has not formally contacted Islamabad in this regard. Meanwhile, an official statement said Nisar, on behalf of PM Nawaz Sharif, extended good wishes for the health of MQM chief Altaf Hussain.

Later, the interior minister met with CM Qaim Ali Shah at CM House, where IG police and other officials were also present. Both the leaders discussed the steps to control the menace of insecurity, especially the violence in Lyari area. The CM emphasised better coordination among the law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Qaim also raised the issue of Rangers conducting operations without informing the Sindh authorities.

From there, the CM and his ministers went with the interior minister to Governor House where they meet with Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad and discussed the steps to ensure law and order in the city.

Later the minister visited Sindh Rangers headquarters, where he met with DG Maj-Gen Rizwan Akhtar and other senior officers. He was also given a briefing on the current situation in Karachi. A Rangers spokesman said the minister lauded role of the force in maintaining security and paid tributes to the ‘Shuhada’ and expressed sympathy with their families.