Missing Indian clerics in custody of Pakistan intelligence: Report
New Delhi, March 18: Two Muslim clerics from Delhi who went missing in Pakistan are “in the custody of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies,” news agency PTI reported today, quoting unnamed official sources.
According to official sources in New Delhi, Asif Nizami, the chief priest, and Nazim Nizami had gone to visit the famous Daata Darbar shrine in Lahore, Pakistan and were to catch a flight from there to Karachi on Wednesday.
As per their families, while Asif Nizami was allowed to go to Karachi, Nazim Nizami was stopped at the Lahore airport on grounds of incomplete travel papers.
While Nazim Nizami went missing from Lahore airport, Asif Nizami 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 news comes in a day after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) likely abducted the two men.
Sushma said that the Pakistani “hosts” of the khadims were “under pressure not to speak to the Indian High Commission”.
The Hazrat Nizamuddin shrine has close links with Data Darbar shrine of Gharib Nawaz or Moinuddin Chisti, and ‘khadims’ or custodians exchange visits every year.
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.