Use Ion Refresher with ion list hidden

Is there a way to use pull-to-refresh without having the <ion-list></ion-list> tags.?
I have <ion-list></ion-list> tags but with tag as <ion-list ng-if="Items.length!=0"> and if the array length is 0 then I display a custom message

<span ng-if="positiveItems.length==0">
    <ng-include src="'templates/error.html'"></ng-include>

But when I display the custom message the pull to refresh doesn’t appear.
Wondering if a work around is possible.

Note: If the ion-list is empty no contents are displayed but my template css messes up. Hence, I am hiding the Ion list and showing the ng-include template