Mystery deepens as Indian clerics return home

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Asif Nizami said he was blindfolded and taken to some undisclosed place.

New Delhi: The head priest of Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, who along with another cleric had gone missing in Pakistan for days, returned home on Monday with their disappearance still shrouded in mystery amid reports they had been picked up by the ISI.

Syed Asif Nizami, 80, the chief priest of the sufi shrine and his nephew Nazim Ali Nizami flew back by a Pakistan International Airlines flight and met external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who had taken up their case with Pakistan Prime Minister’s adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz.

Though the two clerics did not divulge much about what happened during this period, Asif Nizami, however said, he was blindfolded and taken to some undisclosed place.

“I was sitting at the Lahore Airport, carrying my boarding pass when suddenly some people came and told me there were some details lacking in my passport.
“When the flight was about to depart, I was asked to accompany them. I felt helpless. Soon 8-10 people surrounded me and I was taken out through another gate,” he said.

Sajid Nizami, son of Asif Nizami, alleged that the duo was “taken away” after a news report appeared in a Karachi-based Urdu daily which claimed they had links with Indian external intelligence agency RAW.

On reports that both of them could not be contacted as they were in interior Sindh where there was no communication network, Nazim Ali Nizami strongly rejected the claim.

“We did not have visa for Sindh interior region, so how could we have gone there? The reports that we could not be contacted because of network issues is totally false,” Nazim said.

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