Two Indian Sufi priests, including the head cleric of Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin dargah, have gone missing in Pakistan. The have been identified as Syed Asif Ali Nizami, the head cleric, and his nephew Nazim Ali Nizami. The duo had reportedly gone to Pakistan to meet their relatives.
The two priests were last seen together at Data Darbar Sufi shrine in Lahore and have been missing since 15th March. According to reports, their families have revealed that 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.
His family has approached the Pakistan High Commissioner in India for help. The Indian High Commission in Islamabad has also been contacted by the family. Nizami was scheduled to travel back to India on March 20. The two Hazrat Nizamuddin clerics had gone to Lahore on March 14 to visit Daata Darbar (shrine) and were scheduled to return to Karachi in the evening of March 15 by Shaheen Air (flight no. NL149).
The Indian High Commission immediately approached the Pakistan foreign ministry. But there has been no communication from the two missing Indians so far. Pakistan government officials have reportedly said that they are looking into the matter and have urged the families to be patient.
A part of the Nizami family has been living in Karachi since partition while clerics from Hazrat 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.