Britain warns its citizens of potential travel risks in Pakistan

Pakistani flag

The United Kingdom issued updated travel guidelines for its citizen visiting Pakistan, citing the risk of terrorism as one of the key factors.

In its new update to the travel advisory, the FCDO said, “Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Pakistan. There’s a high threat of terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout the country, including the major cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi.”

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has provided these instructions for British residents and travellers in the country.

“Foreigners, in particular Westerners, may be directly targeted. You should try to avoid all crowds and public events including political gatherings and religious events throughout Pakistan, and take appropriate security precautions,” it added. 

The FCDO, particularly, advised some places in Pakistan that its citizens should not visit and they are the districts of Baujar, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province.

It also advised not to go in the districts of Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner and Lower Dir in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the city and district of Peshawar, to travel on the N45 road, from the north of the Mardan ring-road to the edge of the district of Chitral and Balochistan province, excluding the southern coast of Balochistan. 

The FCDO has advised against all but essential travel to “Arandu town and the road between Mirkhani and Arandu in KP; the southern coast of Balochistan, defined as the area south of (and including) the N10 motorway as well as the section of the N25 which runs from N10/N25 intersection to the Balochistan/Sindh border, including the port city of Gwadar; and areas of Sindh Province north of, and including, the city of Nawabshah.”

The advisory also mentioned the regular political rallies and protests in Pakistan, which may have an “anti-western dimension and could turn violent”.

“Avoid demonstrations, large crowds of people and political events. Be alert to local news and, where possible, social media and follow the advice of local authorities and your tour company,” the travel advisory stated, asking British nationals to turn away and move to a safe place if in proximity to a protest site.

Areas with high population density and inadequate security, as per the advisory, including markets, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, hiking trails, airports, infrastructure projects, public transport, schools, and educational institutions, are prone to attacks. It added that maintaining constant vigilance in these areas and limiting exposure to higher-risk locations is crucial for British citizens.

The advisory also mentioned Pakistan’s extreme weather conditions and its vulnerability to natural disasters and asked its citizens to ensure precautions.

“You should avoid unnecessary exposure to direct sunlight and take precautionary measures… You should monitor the local and international weather updates from the Pakistan Meteorological Department, follow the advice of local authorities and your tour company before travelling,” the advisory read.

It also mentioned the risk of earthquakes in the country, asking its citizens to familiarise themselves with safety procedures in case of such an event.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024