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Sufi clerics back home

Tuesday, 21 March 2017 | Chandan Prakash | New Delhi

The two Indian clerics, who went missing in Pakistan last week, returned to India on Monday. The two Sufi clerics thanked the Governments of India and Pakistan for their safe return. They blamed Pakistani newspaper Ummat for publishing a misleading article in which it was claimed that the clerics worked for the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

Syed Asif Nizami and his nephew Nazim Ali Nizami, the two clerics, along with their families also met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Ministers of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar and VK Singh after their return.

Asif Nizami, the head priest of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah, said, “I was taken to a place quite far from Karachi, with my face covered. I was offered food, served tea and biscuits. We were not troubled by them. They kept us in VIP rooms and asked for our details. The Station House Officer (SHO) interrogated us and enquired about details. He also asked about details of Nizamuddin Dargah,” he added.

When asked why they were “interrogated”, Nazim said they were asked about their visa and other immigration details. Asked if Pakistan spy agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was involved in the episode, he refused to comment but made it clear that “no force was used” against them.

According to Pakistani media reports, both clerics had been in “interior Sindh where there was no communication network” and that is why they could not inform their relatives about their whereabouts.

However, the duo rejected the media report, saying it was not possible since they didn’t have a visa for Sindh.

 “We did not have visa for Sindh interior region, so how could we have gone there? We come from the school of sufi which teaches peace and brotherhood. There are good and bad elements and those who go against the teachings they have to suffer humiliation,” Asif Nizami said.

“Main Pakistan phir jaaunga, phir paigaam-e-mohabbat le kar jaaunga aur danke ki chot jaaunga,” said Nazim Nizami, the other cleric who had gone missing said. The main purpose of the visit of Asif to Pakistan was to see his sister in Karachi.

Asif Nizami and Nazim Ali Nizami had gone to Lahore on March 8 but went missing from March 15 from Lahore airport while they were on way to board flight for Karachi by Shaheen Airlines. 

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj immediately took up the issue with Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and requested him to trace the missing clerics. Hours after her conversation with Aziz, Pakistan’s Foreign Office informed Indian High Commission that the clerics were traced and had reached Karachi. 

 
 
 

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