Americans can soon sue Pakistan for terrorism

Pakistan may be charged of backing terrorism under JASTA because Osama was found there

Despite repeated appeals and admonitions, Pakistan continues to breed terror on its soil. But India’s fight against terrorism may soon get a boost from United States of America.

On September 9, 2016, United States (US) Congress passed an amendment in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act 1976 to allow its citizens to sue foreign governments over losses resulting from terrorism carried in the US; from September 11, 2001 attack to the ones after.

The Senate had cleared the bill in May, which then reached the Oval Office on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

US President Barack Obama had vetoed to trash the legislation named Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). But in their bid to humiliate the White House, the Senate chose to override the veto.

In Obama’s view, JASTA violates the executive’s authority to determine if a state has sponsored terrorism by handing the power to local courts that are least equipped to make such determination. He noted the judges may take “consequential decisions based upon incomplete information (about) the culpability of individual foreign governments and their role in terrorist activities against the United States.”

Pakistan may be charged of backing terrorism under JASTA because Osama bin Laden was found living in the country. Pakistan neither admitted hosting Osama nor launched any aggressive action against US troops conducting the operation to eliminate the world’s most wanted man.

The first defendant of JASTA is likely to be Saudi Arabia which is accused of its role in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Saudi Arabia’s reaction to JASTA was categorical: “Weakening this sovereign immunity will affect all countries, including the United States.”