National News

Missing Indian clerics return to New Delhi, say Pakistan daily falsely called them ‘RAW agents’

They said they were untraceable because they were meeting devotees in the interiors of Sindh, which does not have phone connectivity.

The two Indian clerics who were believed to have gone missing in Pakistan returned to New Delhi on Monday. They met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj later in the day in the Capital. Syed Asif Ali Nizami, the head priest of Delhi’s Hazrat Nizammuddin Aulia Dargah, and his nephew Syed Nazim Ali Nizami were not traceable between March 14 and 18.

The clerics blamed Pakistani daily Ummat for falsely reporting that the duo were agents of India’s Research and Analysis Wing and had links with the Muttahida Quami Movement. “There is a newspaper Ummat [in Pakistan] that has printed false statements,” Nazim Nizami said. Asif Nizami’s son Sajid said that they had been detained by Pakistani officials on the basis of that report.

The incident had kicked up a storm with reports suggesting that the two had been detained by Pakistani intelligence authorities. It was reported that they were taken into custody for interrogation because of their alleged links to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. The clerics surfaced in Karachi on Saturday and said they had gone to meet devotees in the interiors of Sindh, which does not have phone connectivity.

Reports had earlier said that the 80-year-old and his nephew had visited Lahore’s Daata Darbar shrine and were supposed to fly back to India from Karachi on Wednesday. They had visited their relatives in Karachi before heading to Lahore, from where they went missing. Swaraj had taken up the matter with Islamabad.

“I would like to thank the Indian government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sushma Sawarj and Rajnath Singh,” Amir Nizami, son of one of the clerics, told the news agency. “We are very happy that our government made efforts to help them return.”

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

Play

Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.