Missing Sufi Indian clerics resurface in Pakistan

The two were reunited with their relatives in Karachi after 72 hours

Updated - March 19, 2017 01:45 am IST

Published - March 18, 2017 03:14 pm IST - LAHORE:

Bolt from the blue:  Sufi clerics Nazim Ali Nizami and Syed Asif Ali Nizami (right) from Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi were ‘detained’ at Pakistani airports.

Bolt from the blue: Sufi clerics Nazim Ali Nizami and Syed Asif Ali Nizami (right) from Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi were ‘detained’ at Pakistani airports.

Two Sufi clerics of the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi, who had gone missing during a visit to Pakistan, have been reunited with their relatives in Karachi, official sources at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad have confirmed.

Syed Asif Ali Nizami, the head priest or “Sajjadanashin” of the Dargah in Delhi, and his relative Nazim Ali Nizami have been missing for more than 72 hours after being ‘detained’ in Lahore and Karachi airports.

The news of their return came soon after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced that she had spoken to Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz about the two, who had travelled to Karachi on March 8 to be with their relatives and visit Sufi shrines in Pakistan.

Aziz promises help

“I spoke to Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan PM’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs, regarding missing Indian nationals. He assured me of all help in tracing the missing clerics. Mr Sartaj Aziz is in London,” Ms. Swaraj tweeted.

The clerics travelled to Lahore on March 14. The Hindu had reported that Nazim Ali Nizami was detained in the Lahore airport on March 15 for inadequate travel papers and subsequently Syed Asif Ali Nizami was also detained, reportedly at Karachi airport.

Speaking to The Hindu on the phone from Karachi, Syed Wazir Nizami, relative of the two clerics said the Pakistani authorities had not contacted the family with information about the two during their absence during the first two days. The sudden disappearance of the two Sufi clerics from one of India’s most important Sufi shrines has shocked many religious figures, with some demanding more security for such religious figures. Both clerics are expected to return to Delhi on Monday.

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