India raises concerns after Sufi clerics go missing in Pakistan
March 17 2017 12:59 PM
Sushma Swaraj
Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj says the government has taken up the matter with Pakistan.

DPA/New Delhi

Two Indian clerics including the head priest of Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Sufi shrine have gone missing in Pakistan, prompting Delhi to take up the matter with Islamabad, officials said on Friday.
Syed Asif Ali Nizami, 80, the head priest, along with his nephew Nazim Ali Nizami travelled to Pakistan on March 8 but have been  missing since Wednesday when they were to catch a flight to Karachi, relatives told domestic media.
"We have taken up this matter with Government of Pakistan and requested them for an update on both the Indian nationals in Pakistan," foreign minister Sushma Swaraj wrote on her Twitter handle.
The Nizamis had visited the Data Darbar Sufi shrine in Lahore and were to take a flight to Karachi on Wednesday evening.
Nazim was stopped at Lahore airport on grounds of incomplete travel papers and went missing thereafter. Asif went missing after arriving at Karachi airport, family members told broadcaster NDTV.
There is a frequent exchange between the priests of Data Darbar and Hazrat Nizamuddin sufi shrines in Pakistan and India.
Authorities in India are worried that Pakistani authorities might have "picked them up" for reasons which are as yet unclear, The Times of India reported.
On the other hand, Sufis have also come under attack from jihadist militants in Pakistan in recent months, but chances of the Nizamis being abducted by such elements were remote, security sources told the paper.



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