Missing Indian clerics 'traced' in Karachi

Missing cleric's son appeals to govt for immediate action

Two clerics, Syed Asif Ali Nizami and Nazim Ali Nizami from Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah who were on a religious tour in Pakistan have gone missing.

Sushma Swaraj stated that she has contacted their host in Karachi and he appeared to be under pressure not to speak to Indian High Commission.

"We got to know the news circulating in Pakistan media". "We are expecting a communication from them shortly on the issue, Indian agencies had said".

But Indian officials here indicated they had received signals that the clerics were unofficially detained by Pakistan's intelligence agencies over suspected links to the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) that Islamabad accuses New Delhi of funding. "Both are missing after they landed in Karachi airport", tweeted Ms Swaraj.

Pakistani media continues to maintain radio silence on the disappearance of the two Sufi clerics from New Delhi's Nizamuddin Dargah. They were visiting Pakistan, said family members, after 30 years and planned to look up relatives and visit Sufi shrines in Pakistan.

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Nizami also informed that the phone of the clerics was now ringing, adding that they would be able to talk to them very soon.

India is said to have taken up the matter with Pakistan's Foreign Ministry.

The duo had entered Pakistan via Karachi on March 8. According to reports, the 80-year-old and his nephew visited Lahore's Daata Darbar shrine and were supposed to fly back to India from Karachi on Wednesday.

On Friday, Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, when asked about the khadims, said they had "no clue" if the two had been found and that they were "proactively pursuing" the case.

"They were offloaded from Karachi-bound Shaheen Airlines flight on March 14 at Lahore Airport, " reports said. As Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar tweeted late on Friday night: "I met one of these gentlemen at the Nizamuddin dargah in Delhi previous year".

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