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.

(Agencies)