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Two missing Sufi clerics return to India from Pakistan

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The two Sufi clerics of Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, who had gone missing in Pakistan have returned safely to India. Both of them are expected to meet External Minister Sushma Swaraj after their arrival at Delhi airport.

Swaraj had on Sunday stated that she spoke to Syed Nazim Ali Nizami, one of the missing clerics, in Karachi and was assured they were safe and would be back to Delhi on Monday. "I just spoke to Syed Nazim Ali Nizami in Karachi. He told me that they are safe and will be back in Delhi tomorrow," Swaraj tweeted.

The two clerics identified as Asif Nizami and Nazim Nizami belong to Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin dargah. They had travelled to Pakistan to visit their relatives in Karachi and then embarked on a pilgrimage to Lahore on March 13 to offer a chadar at Baba Farid's shrine.

On March 14, they offered another chadar at the Data Darbar Sufi shrine, also in Lahore. On March 15, when they reached the airport to take a return flight for Karachi, Nazim Nizami was stopped to clear some documentation and Syed Asif Nizami was asked to board the flight.

As per reports, one of them went missing in Karachi and the other in Lahore. The families of the clerics back in India tried to contact them through phones but their mobile phones have been switched off.

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 tell their relatives about there whereabouts.

Earlier, Pakistani sources had said the two clerics were in the custody of Pakistan's intelligence agency over their alleged links with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. They were offloaded from Karachi-bound Shaheen Airlines on March 14 at the Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore, the Pakistani sources said.

"An intelligence personnel took both the clerics into custody after getting them offloaded and shifted them to an undisclosed location for investigation," a source had said. They further said both clerics had been detained for their alleged links with Altaf Hussain's Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

OneIndia News (With inputs from agencies)

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