Delhi’s Nizamuddin Dargah head priest and nephew missing in Pakistan

Asif Nizami, the chief priest and Nazim Nizami
Asif Nizami, the chief priest and Nazim Nizami

Islamabad/New Delhi, March 17: Two Indian Muslim clerics, including the head priest of Delhi’s Nizamuddin Dargah, have gone missing in Pakistan, prompting India to take up the matter with the Pakistan government.

According to official sources in New Delhi, Syed Asif Ali Nizami, 80, the chief priest, and his nephew, Nazim Ali Nizami65, had gone to visit the famous Daata Darbar shrine in Lahore on March 8 and were to catch a flight from there to Karachi on Wednesday.

Syed Asif was visiting his ailing sister in Karachi in Pakistan after many years while Nazim Ali keeps visiting their relatives in Pakistan and Sufi shrines in the country annually.

“As per their families, while Asif was allowed to go to Karachi, Nazim was stopped at the Lahore airport on grounds of incomplete travel papers.”

“While Nazim went missing from Lahore airport, Asif went missing after arriving at the Karachi airport,” a source said.

The matter has been taken up with the Pakistan government both in New Delhi as well as through the Indian mission in Islamabad, the source said.

The duo had gone to Karachi to meet their relatives on March 8 before traveling to Lahore to visit the shrine.

Exchanges between clerics of the Nizamuddin Dargah and the Daata Darbar are part of a regular tradition.

“The Indian High Commission immediately approached the Pakistan foreign ministry. But there has been no communication from the two missing Indians so far,” an Indian source said.

Pakistan government sources said they were looking into the matter and have urged families to be patient.
A part of the Nizami family has been living in Karachi since Partition while clerics from Nizamuddin Dargah and the Daata Darbar visit these shrines in Delhi and Lahore regularly.

Officials are exercising restraint and not wanting to jump to conclusions. New Delhi is concerned in the wake of recent incidents in Pakistan. In February, 72 people were killed in an attack on a Sufi shrine.