The two missing Indian clerics from Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah are in custody of a Pakistani intelligence agency over their alleged links with Pakistani political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), official sources said on Saturday.
According to official sources in New Delhi, Asif Nizami, the head priest, and Nazim Nizami had gone to visit the famous Daata Darbar shrine in Lahore and were to catch a flight from there to Karachi on Wednesday.
Nizami’s son Sajid Ali had told reporters that his father went missing at the Karachi Airport while a few others, including Nazim Nizami, were detained at Lahore.
“The personnel of an intelligence agency took both the clerics into custody after getting them offloaded and shifted them to an undisclosed location for investigation,” sources told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
They further said that both clerics have been detained for their alleged link with MQM, led by Pakistani self-exiled leader Altaf Hussain.
“They are being interrogated for their alleged links with Altaf's partymen in Karachi,” the sources said, adding they will be freed if nothing is established against them.
Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Friday tweeted that she had taken up the matter with the government of Pakistan and has requested them for an update on both the Indian nationals.
Indian High Commission in Pakistan has taken up the matter of missing Indians Syed Asif Ali Nizami and Nazim Ali Nizami #Nizamuddin /1— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 17, 2017
Pakistan on Friday conveyed to India that it was “seriously pursuing” the case with its law enforcement agencies.
Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told PTI in Islamabad that “no clue to the missing Indian priests has been found so far”, but Pakistan was “pro-actively pursuing” the case.
(With inputs from PTI.)