Nizamuddin dargah clerics lost in Pakistan may have been kidnapped, says officials

The Muslim clerics have been identified as Syed Asif Ali Nizami, the head cleric, and his nephew Nazim Ali Nizami had gone to Pakistan to meet their relatives

In the latest development to the two Indian Sufi priests, including the head cleric of Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin dargah, who went missing in Pakistan, a report suggests that the clerics may have been kidnapped by the militants or taken into custody by intelligence agencies.

They have been identified as Syed Asif Ali Nizami, the head cleric, and his nephew Nazim Ali Nizami. Both had reportedly gone to Pakistan to meet their relatives.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on March 17 posted a series of tweets and said that she has taken up the matter with Islamabad. Swaraj said that she has requested Pakistan to update New Delhi on both the Indian nationals.

“Have taken up this matter with Government of Pakistan and requested them for an update on both the Indian nationals,” tweeted Swaraj.

Speaking to media Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria told media that an Indian request for assistance for recovering the clerics has been received. He said the request had been forwarded to the interior ministry, which is “actively pursuing the matter”.

A relative of the priest said, “We will try to meet the Union Home Minister and the External Affairs Minister on the matter.”

According to the family of the clerics, the duo was set to fly to Karachi on Wednesday. While Asif was allowed to board, Nazim was stopped at Lahore airport on grounds of incomplete documents.

Exchanges between clerics of Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi and the Data Darbar are part of a regular tradition.