Increased hajj quota sought for Zabul
QALAT (PAN): Residents and officials of southern Zabul province say an insufficient hajj quota has been allotted to the province, urging the government to allow more people to perform the religious duty this year.
Under the quota allotted by the central government, only 304 people from Zabul would be able to perform hajj this year, Deputy Governor Mohammad Jan Rasulyar told Pajhwok Afghan News on Wednesday.
The inadequate quota needed to be increased, believed Rasulyar, who said the 304 intending pilgrims had been selected through a ballot. In all, 1,800 people had submitted applications.
Each pilgrim has to pay 150,000 afghanis in hajj expenses to the government."We have said repeatedly the government should allot a hajj quota for Zabul in line with its population," the official said.
Khan Mohammad, 48, a resident of Shinkai district, said he wanted to perform this year's hajj, but he was not selected. Mohammad, whose application was also rejected in 2009, said the hajj quota for Zabul be increased.
Another aspirant, Noor Mohammad, a resident of Qalat, said the hajj quota for this year had declined, but expenses had gone up.
Previously, a number of people would travel to Saudi Arabia for hajj through private firms, but such companies have now been barred from airlifting pilgrims.
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