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Indian clerics are safe, will reach Delhi tomorrow: Swaraj

New Delhi: Two Indian clerics, including the head priest of Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, who went missing in Pakistan, are safe and will be back in the city tomorrow, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today.

“I just spoke to Syed Nazim Ali Nizami in Karachi. He told me that they are safe and will be back in Delhi tomorrow,” she said in a tweet.

The two clerics – Syed Asif Nizami, the head priest (Sajjadanashin) of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah, and his nephew Nazim Ali Nizami, had gone to Lahore on March 8 and were to return to India on March 20. The main purpose of the visit of 80-year-old Asif to Pakistan was to see his sister in Karachi.

Yesterday, Pakistan had conveyed to India that the clerics were traced and reached Karachi last evening.

Swaraj had taken up the issue with Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz yesterday and requested him to trace the missing clerics.

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 inform their relatives about their whereabouts.

Earlier, 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 had said.

PTI