I have been surprised by the nave reasoning of Col. Riaz Jaffery (The Nation dated 19th, Aug' 2009) that every Pakistani has to repay a debt of Rs. 24,412/- before undertaking Hajj. Indirectly, he is suggesting that Pakistani Muslims cannot perform this duty (Farz) until the entire debt on the nation is cleared. As we all know, the successive governments continue to obtain loans from IMF/World Bank and other such institutions and the quantum of these loans is mounting rather than receding year after year. We also know that this is mainly because of luxurious spending, corruption and bad governance. Now the general masses hardly benefit from all this debt and actually have to pay huge direct and indirect taxes to pay it back. How can they be held responsible individually to repay the loans that are obtained without their consent? In fact, the government is responsible for repayments of these debts, not the individuals. Let us not put unnecessary curbs on individuals in performing a religious duty (Farz Hajj) with such preposterous 'arguments'. -QAZI ABDUL RASHID, Lahore, August 28.