Two missing clerics found, to return to India on March 20: Pakistani media
The two clerics had travelled to Pakistan on March 8. Photograph: (ANI)
Two Indian Sufi clerics, who had gone missing in Pakistan, are in Karachi and are scheduled to return on March 20 (Monday), according to Pakistani media.
The two clerics were detained by Pakistan over their alleged links with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a dominant political party in Pakistan's Karachi, according to unnamed Indian sources.
They were interrogated about possible links with MQM, as per the sources.
Syed Asif Ali Nizami, 80, the head cleric of the Delhi's Nizamuddin Dargah, along with his nephew, Nazim Ali Nizami, 60, went missing in Pakistan on Thursday (March 16) while on a pilgrimage to the famous Daata Darbar Sufi shrine in Lahore. They had also visited Karachi to meet their relatives.
The two clerics were set to fly to Karachi to visit the Islamic shrines but disappeared soon after. While Nizal Ali was detained at the Lahore airport, Asif Ali was allowed to travel to Karachi. He was detained their, according to family members.
But reports of them flying back to India next week has buoyed their families.
Aamir Nizami, son of Asif Nizami, told ANI he hadn't spoken to his father yet but thanked the Indian government for tracing him.
The Pakistani government launched a crackdown on MQM mebers after the ethnic party's leader Altaf Hussain raised slogans against the country at a hunger strike camp in Karachi last year.
Hussain had called Pakistan a "cancer for the world".
“Pakistan is headache for the entire world. Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism for the entire world. Who says long live Pakistan...it’s down with Pakistan," the London-based leader had said.