Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Haj Minister Mohd Azam Khan has asked External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to ensure that Haj pilgrims are issued passports on a priority basis.

Khan has written a letter to Krishna asking him to direct the regional passport office at Lucknow, Ghaziabad and Bareilly to issue passports to willing Haj pilgrims within a week's time.

The Haj minister in his letter said that a large number of Muslims from rural areas go for Haj, but being semi-literate they are unable to understand technicalities involved in getting a passport.

He said that a large number of applications were pending with the passport offices.

Khan said that there were cases in which passports were not issued even though the police inquiry has been completed.