Pakistan

Pakistan expresses concern over the passage of a law by the US Congress

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has expressed grave concerns over the passage of law by the US Congress which allows civil litigants relief against foreign individuals, entities and governments.

A statement by the Foreign Office states that it is closely following the development. It said  that the promulgation of national laws with extra-territorial application sets a dangerous precedent that is likely to further complicate an already complex global environment.

Pakistan is convinced that the world today is better served through initiatives promoting amity and cooperation, rather than xenophobia and confrontation particularly those targeting countries or religions.

What is JUSTA?

The US House of Representatives has passed the  “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” or JASTA on Friday 9th September which would allow the families of 11th September, 2011 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for damages. The legislation was passed unanimously in the US Senate in May.

US President Barrack Obama has vowed to veto the bill, but the US Senate is expected to vote override the veto. The White House confirmed that it had received the bill, but did not offer updates about timing of a veto. The US constitution gives the president ten days after receiving a bill to veto it before it automatically becomes law.

The bill attempts to narrow the scope of foreign sovereign immunity by authorising US courts to hear cases involving claims against a foreign state for injuries, death or damages that occur inside the United States  including an act of terrorism committed anywhere by a foreign state or official.

GCC, Arab League express concern

Many countries including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has raised apprehensions over the law which it said will affect ties with the United States. It has said that the bill violates the principal of sovereign equality between states which is a violation of international law.

GCC Secretary-General Dr Abdul Latif Al Zayani had said that passing such a flawed bill will have a negative impact on relations between gulf states and the US and could damage the global economy,

Arab League has also criticised the  ‘shameful’ law. In a statement, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Ghait said that the law does not correspond with the United Nations principles or the foundations of international laws among nations.

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