New Delhi: Two Indian clerics who reportedly went missing in Pakistan returned to Delhi on Monday, rubbishing Pakistani media reports that they were detained there on spying charges. Syed Asif Ali Nizami and his nephew Nazim Ali Nizami, both clerics of Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, landed at the airport on Monday morning and went home.
Nazim Ali Nizami said they left for Pakistan on March 8 to meet a relative in Karachi. “We had gone to meet my aunt who is 90 and lives in Karachi. My uncle met his sister after 26 long years,” Nazim Ali told the media. He rubbished reports that they were detained in Pakistan. At the same time he thanked the Modi government for their return to India.
“Irrespective of our different religions, we all live here peacefully and in harmony. But there are some elements who don’t like this,” he said. “There is this (Pakistani) newspaper ‘Ummat’ which reported falsely about us and printed fake pictures.” He said they were under “no kind of pressure”. Nizami’s son Syed Sajid Ali also displayed the newspaper report to media persons where it was reported that the clerics had links with the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday announced she had spoken to Nazim Ali Nizami and they were safe and would be returning on Monday. She had also raised the matter with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Adviser Sartaj Aziz. The two clerics reportedly went missing on March 15 while on a visit to Data Darbar in Lahore. Subsequently, they were reported to have been found in a remote village of Sindh province with no cell phone connectivity.