Sufi clerics missing: India putting steady pressure on Pakistan, assures BJP

by Lawrence Cooper March 19, 2017, 0:22
Sufi clerics missing: India putting steady pressure on Pakistan, assures BJP

Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Friday said the Pakistani host of the Indian clerics seemed to be "under pressure" not to speak to the Indian High Commission.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria also acknowledged that an Indian request seeking assistance for the recovery of two clerics had been received. India took up the matter strongly with the neighbouring country on the matter. They had visited their relatives in Karachi before heading to Lahore, from where they went missing. A source pointed out that Syed Asif Ali Nizami, 80, and his nephew, Syed Nazim Ali Nizami, 65, were "inside the airport" when they went missing. As per reports, of the two of them, one is missing is missing from Karachi and the other from Lahore.

Earlier in the day, 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).

The son of the Nizamuddin dargah head priest, who has gone missing in Pakistan, has pleaded that his father be "released" as he is not involved in "any activity" that should invite any action.

News agency PTI however, quoted an official of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency who claimed that the agency has no idea about the disappearance of the clerics.

Their phones were switched off since then.

The clerics are reported to be safe and are expected to reach India on 20 March.

According to sources, Nazim went missing from Lahore airport and Asif went missing after arriving at the Karachi airport.

Asif Ali Nizami reached Karachi airport and asked his relatives to pick him up, but he did not come out of the aircraft.

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