After much concerns by the external ministry over the two Muslim clerics missing in Pakistan, the neighbouring country has today conveyed to India that the missing Indians of Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah have been “traced and have reached Karachi”. According to a source, the Pakistan Foreign Office as confirmed that the clerics had been traced and brought back to Karachi.
The confirmation came after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, regarding the case. Aziz is in London currently. The two missing Indian clerics — Syed Asif Nizami, the head priest (Sajjadanashin) of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah, and and his nephew Nazim Nizami — reached Karachi this evening.
According to Pakistani media reports, both clerics had been in “interior Sindh where there was no communication network” and that is why they could not tell their relatives about there whereabouts. They will leave for India on March 20. Earlier in the day, Pakistani sources had said the two clerics were in the custody of Pakistan’s intelligence agency over their alleged links with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
They were offloaded from Karachi-bound Shaheen Airlines on March 14 at the Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore, the Pakistani sources said.
“The personnel of an intelligence took both the clerics into custody after getting them offloaded and shifted them to an undisclosed location for investigation,” a source had said.
Earlier yesterday, Swaraj tweeted that the duo went missing after they landed at Karachi airport. While the Indian minister has taken up the matter with Pakistani authority, several reports have suggested either the militants or the notorious Pakistani spy agency ISI may be behind the disappearance of the clerics.
India had rejected Pakistan’s charge that the visit of two Indian clerics in the neighbouring country, who went missing since yesterday, was unauthorised. However, Pakistan admitted of detaining two clerics. As per reports, Pakistan’s ISI is holding clerics.
(With inputs from agencies)