New Delhi: Two Indian clerics, who had gone had gone on a visit to Pakistan on 8 March and were said to have gone missing, returned to Delhi on Monday.
According to a report in the New Indian Express, Syed Asif Ali Nizami, 80, and his nephew Nazim Ali Nizami, clerics of Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, landed at the Delhi airport on Monday morning. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had announced on Sunday that she had spoken with them, that they were safe and would be arriving on Monday.
Swaraj is expected to meet with them and their families. Amir Nizami, son of one of the clerics, picked them up from the airport and visited Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah to seek blessings of Allah.
The Financial Express reported that the clerics, who had gone to Lahore on 8 March, were offloaded from a Karachi-bound flight at the Lahore airport on 14 March.
According to reports, the clerics were taken into custody by personnel of an intelligence agency and shifted to an undisclosed location and questioned for their alleged links with the men of Altaf Hussain, the self-exiled leader of Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
Asif was visiting Pakistan to meet his sister in Karachi. Swaraj had, on Sunday, taken up the issue of the clerics going 'missing' with Pakistani prime minister's adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz and requested him to find them. Late Sunday, Pakistan told India that they'd found the clerics in Karachi.
I just spoke to Syed Nazim Ali Nizami in Karachi. He told me that they are safe and will be back in Delhi tomorrow. #Nizamuddin
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 19, 2017
Local media reports, citing unnamed sources, said that both clerics were traced to Karachi's Nazimabad neighbourhood in rural Sindh, where they had apparently gone to "meet their followers, where there was no communication network", which is why they could not inform their relatives about their whereabouts.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Mar 20, 2017 12:53:54 IST