Two Indian clerics went missing in Pakistan due to botched ISI operation: Report

Nizam Nizami, the head cleric of an Indian sufi shrine, was detained for suspected links to India;s primary foreign intelligence agency. Photograph:( ANI )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 26, 2017, 07.31 AM (IST)

Two Indian clerics, who had gone missing in Pakistan and were later grilled by Pakistan intelligence agencies for their alleged links to a Pakistani political party, were detained due to an erroneous news report, Deccan Chronicle reported.

A news report in Pakistan had questioned the repeated visits made by Nizam Nizami, the head cleric of New Delhi's Nizamuddin dargah, and raised questions whether he was linked to Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the primary foreign intelligence agency of India.

The other cleric, Nizami's nephew Asif, was detained as a "collateral victim".

The duo was released after being interrogated by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). 

The report also said the ISI detained the two Sufi clerics without informing Pakistan's civilian government.

The report also suggested that the fact they were are Sufi clerics might have led the ISI to detain them. Muslims view Sufis as heretics in Pakistan.

Earlier this month, the uncle-nephew duo went missing in Pakistan on March 16 while they were travelling to the famous Daata Darbar Sufi shrine in Lahore.

The two clerics had gone to Karachi in Pakistan to meet their relatives.

The Pakistani government was unaware about their whereabouts when they were first contacted by New Delhi.

Eventually, Islamabad tracked them and allowed the clerics to leave for India on March 20. 

(WION)