Missing Nizamuddin Dargah Clerics Detained By Pakistan's Intelligence Agency, Claim Family Members

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Missing Nizamuddin Dargah Clerics Detained By Pakistan's Intelligence Agency, Claim Family Members

Head cleric of Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah and his nephew were last seen at a shrine in Lahore.

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Asif Ali Nizami is the head cleric of Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah
  2. He and his nephew have been missing in Pakistan since Thursday
  3. Centre has taken up the matter with the Pakistan government
On a day when India formally asked Pakistan to help locate two Muslim clerics of Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah, who have been missing in the neighbouring country since Thursday, the clerics' family told NDTV that they were probably in the custody of Pakistan's intelligence agencies. The 82-year-old Asif Ali Nizami, head priest of the Dargah, and his nephew Nizal Ali Nizami, 66, had gone to Pakistan on March 4 to visit several shrines and relatives. On Thursday, shortly after posting pictures of their visit to the Datta Darbar shrine in Lahore, the two men disappeared from the airport.

"Nizal Ali was detained at the Lahore airport itself while Asif Ali was allowed to travel to Karachi but he never came out of the airport," said Sajid Nizami, the son of Asif Ali Nizami.

News agency PTI however, quoted an official of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency who claimed that the agency has no idea about the disappearance of the clerics.

"It is not clear whether they have gone with someone on their own or there is some other matter," he said.

His statement was also echoed by the official spokesperson of Pakistan's Foreign Office Nafees Zakaria.

"No clues to the missing Indian priests have been found so far. However, we are proactively pursuing the case," Mr Zakaria said.

"We have asked all departments concerned to look into the matter," he added and confirmed that Pakistan has received India's official request to trace the clerics.

On Friday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that the centre had taken up the matter with Pakistan.

"Indian High Commission in Pakistan has taken up the matter of missing Indians Syed Asif Ali Nizami and Nazim Ali Nizami at the highest level in the Government of Pakistan," tweeted the Union Minister.

She further tweeted:Meanwhile, at the popular Nizamuddin Sufi shrine, hundreds turned out to pray. Exchanged between the Datta Darbar and the Nizamuddin Dargah are part of a regular tradition.

(with inputs from PTI)

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