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Nothing wrong in allowing Geelani to perform Haj: Azad

Source: PTI
Last updated on: January 10, 2006 13:34 IST
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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has defended his decision to allow the pro-Pakistani hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to perform Haj saying the piligrimage is necessary for all Muslims.

"He (Geelani) had sought permission to visit Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and also for Haj piligrimage. While the first trip was for pure politics, the other one was for religious purpose and there is nothing wrong in that," Azad told PTI in New Delhi.

He said Haj was one of the five essential things a Muslim has to perform. The other four are fasting during Ramzan, Zakat (distributing alms to poor), Namaz (prayers) and Shahadah (the profession of faith in Allah).

"So, I personally wrote to the Centre that there was nothing wrong in him perform the pilgrimage," he said and added, "going to PoK was disallowed as this would have been purely for political reasons".

Geelani had been applying for the past 15 years for performing Haj, but none of the previous state chief ministers had endorsed his plea.

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