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Nangarhar briefly halts haj registration

Nangarhar briefly halts haj registration

Jun 02, 2012 - 17:45

JALALABAD (PAN): Authorities in the eastern Nangarhar province on Saturday temporarily suspended the registration process for intending haj pilgrims after a huge crowd streaming into the provincial haj department went out of control, officials said.

This year, the Ministry of Hajj and Islamic Affairs has introduced a new system that said intending pilgrims who applied for the ritual first would get a chance to perform this year’s pilgrimage -- replacing the ballot process carried out in previous years.

The registration process was launched nationwide on Saturday and nearly 1,500 people gathered in front of the Nangarhar Hajj Department to register their names.

The swelling crowd turned chaotic, forcing officials to suspend the registration until the next announcement is made.

Governor Gul Agha Sherzai ordered the suspension after he was informed about the crowd disorder, his spokesman Ahmad Zia Abulzai told Pajhwok Afghan News.

He said the provincial hajj department would now introduce a new policy that could make things easier and ensure the rights’ of eligible people are not denied.

Deputy Governor Mohammad Hanif Gardiwal said he held a series of meetings with the provincial council, the hajj department and other officials to sort out the problem.

He acknowledged the new registration method was problematic.

Gardiwal said under the new policy an intending pilgrim could register himself in his native town and the new proposal was sent to the hajj department and hopefully they would respond by tomorrow.

“This is my third visit to the hajj department to register my name but so far I failed do so,” lamented an 80-year old Baghcha Gul, who woke up before dawn to register, but yet failed.

The elderly man preferred the voting procedure and said the new system was a cumbersome process.