1,000 Balkh residents to perform Haj
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): More than 1,000 people would be taken to Saudi Arabia from northern Balkh province for the performance of Haj this year, an official said on Saturday.
A total of 1,400 people, including 346 women, have registered themselves with the provincial Haj and Aufaq Department and 1005 have been selected through a draw, said Haj and Auqaf Director Qari Hayatullah.
He said the number of Haj pilgrims this year showed a 20 percent decrease over the previous year, when 1,265 people performed the holy journey.
Mohammad Din, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, said he had registered his parents with the Haj and Auqaf department but they were not selected among the revealers to Saudi Arabia.
He said every Muslim tried to perform the once-in-life pilgrimage soon after being able to afford the journey. He said the government was responsible to facilitate every person intending to perform the pilgrimage.
But the Haj and Auqaf director said the overall decrease in selections of pilgrims was a result of the ongoing massive construction works in Makkah to provide more space for the millions of faithful.
Hayatullah said they were trying to facilitate Afghan pilgrims in line with Arab traditions. He said those who missed the opportunity this year would be given a priority next year.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.