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Pakistan shows concern on overturning of US Presidential veto on 9/11 law

Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has expressed its concern on the overturning of the United States Presidential veto on Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA).

Foreign Office (FO) in Islamabad in a statement noted with concern the overturning of the U.S. Presidential veto on JASTA, a law passed by the US Congress aimed at targeting sovereign states.

The statement said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had in United Nations General Assembly had said that the terrorism was a global issue which will be addressed in all its forms with the cooperation of the international community.

“Many countries across Europe and in the Middle East have also expressed similar concern over JASTA legislation,” foreign office stated.

These efforts should be taken collectively and not unilaterally by the passage of any law with extra-territorial application, targeting certain countries, the statement said.

“Pakistan had earlier also expressed its disappointment over the adoption of a domestic legislation with extra-territorial application,” the statement added.

Saudi warning of “disastrous consequences”

Earlier, Saudi Arabia had warned of “disastrous consequences” from a United States law allowing 9/11 victims to sue the kingdom, in a major spike in tension between the longstanding allies.

The warning came after the US Congress voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to override President Barack Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) on relations between states.

JASTA allows attack survivors and relatives of terrorism victims to pursue cases against foreign governments in US federal court and to demand compensation if such governments are proven to bear some responsibility for attacks on US soil.

A Saudi foreign ministry source on Thursday called on the US Congress “to take the necessary measures to counter the disastrous and dangerous consequences” of the law.

This law “weakens the immunity of states”, and will have a negative impact on all countries “including the United States,” the Saudi spokesman said, expressing hope that “wisdom will prevail.”

In opposing the law, Obama said it would harm US interests by undermining the principle of sovereign immunity, opening up the US to private lawsuits over its military missions abroad.

The erosion of sovereign immunity is also a concern among the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

 

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