Around 48 hours have passed since Nizamuddin Dargah clerics Syed Asif li Nizami (80) and his nephew Nazim Ali Nizami went missing in Pakistan. They had visited Pakistan on March 8. Union foreign minister Sushma Swaraj today 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.
Here’s all we know about the disappearance of the Nizamuddin Dargah clerics and different fears that have been raised in this regard so far:
- ANI quoted sources as saying that Pakistan intelligence agencies are behind the disappearance of two Sufi clerics who are missing since Thursday. The clerics had visited Karachi city of Pakistan to meet their relatives. Later they moved towards Lahore to visit some shrines of Sufi saints.
- Hindustan Times reported law enforcement officials as saying that the clerics may have been either held by the intelligence agencies or kidnapped by a militant group.
- A Pakistan Punjab spokesperson told CNN-News18 said that they had leads on the whereabouts of the clerics but couldn’t reveal the details because of the ongoing investigation. While talking to the channel, a Pakistani journalist feared that the clerics may have been picked by the militants and that they may be let free in the next 24 hours.
- In recent times, Pakistan has suffered terror attacks on Sufi centres in which hundreds of people have lost their lives. The hardcore terror groups living in the country abhor the Sufi practice that spreads the message of love.
We have taken up this matter with Government of Pakistan and requested them for an update on both the Indian nationals in Pakistan./4
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 17, 2017
- Swaraj today tweeted, “We have taken up this matter with Government of Pakistan and requested them for an update on both the Indian nationals in Pakistan.” Responding to India’s request, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria acknowledged that an Indian request seeking assistance for the recovery of two clerics was received by his country.
- Pakistan should cooperate completely to ensure the return of the clerics to India. A failure in this regard would further reduce the already diminished trust between the two countries.
- Syed Asif Ali Nizami is Head Priest (Sajjadanashin) of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia dargah.