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We would like to thank the Indian government and Sushma Swaraj for their efforts. "We are pursuing this further with the Government of Pakistan", Swaraj said in a series of tweets.

"We appeal to the Indian government to get to know about the whereabouts of both".

Early on Friday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had posted on Twitter a series of posts in which she confirmed that two Indian clerics had gone missing in Pakistan.

But Indian officials here indicated they had received signals that the clerics were unofficially detained by Pakistan's intelligence agencies over suspected links to the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) that Islamabad accuses New Delhi of funding.

The two clerics are set to return to India on March 20, according to Pakistan media reports.

They were offloaded from Karachi-bound Shaheen Airlines on March 14 at the Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore, the Pakistani sources said.

Sources said Indian officials were in discussions with Pakistani authorities and have asked them to check CCTV footage at Lahore and Karachi airports for clues.

The two clerics, members of the extended family of the Sajjada Nashin (hereditary administrator) of the Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi, had flown to Karachi in a Pakistan Airlines flight from Delhi.

The two clerics offered a "chadar" at Lahore's Baba Farid's shrine on March 13. While one of the clerics went missing from Lahore airport, the second went missing after arriving at the Karachi airport, one of the news report cited above said.

The disappearance of the clerics is likely to add to the tensions between the two countries. However Indian agencies have learnt that the duo was picked up and detained by the agencies in Pakistan. As Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar tweeted late on Friday night: "I met one of these gentlemen at the Nizamuddin dargah in Delhi a year ago".


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