UK’s latest travel advice warns of potential dangers in Pakistan

Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel stand guard at the International Arrivals area during a media tour of the newly constructed Islamabad International Airport, ahead of its official opening, in Pakistan April 18, 2018.  - Reuters
Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel stand guard at the International Arrivals area during a media tour of the newly constructed Islamabad International Airport, ahead of its official opening, in Pakistan April 18, 2018. – Reuters
  • The advisory mentions the high threat of terrorism, kidnapping and communal violence.
  • The rallies, protests “can have an anti-Western dimension and can turn violent”.
  • “Avoid demonstrations, large gatherings of people and political events,” the advisory said.

The British government has issued updated travel guidelines for its citizens traveling to Pakistan citing the threat of terrorism as one of the key factors.

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

The advisory highlighted that foreign nationals, especially Westerners, could be direct targets of such attacks.

Therefore, British citizens were advised to avoid crowded places, political gatherings, public events and religious functions throughout Pakistan, prioritizing their safety and ensuring proper security precautions.

“There is a high likelihood of terrorists attempting to carry out attacks in Pakistan. There is a high risk of terrorism, kidnapping and sectarian violence across the country, including in the major cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi,” the advisory said.

According to its latest travel advice, British nationals have been told to avoid traveling to the capital Peshawar and most areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, including Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North and South Waziristan, Charsadda, Kohat, Tank . , Bannu, Laki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner and Lower Dir.

The advisory also includes instructions against travel on the N45 road from the north of the Mardan Ring-Road to the edge of Chitral district; Balochistan Province, except the southern coast of Balochistan; the section of the N35 (or Karakoram Highway) between the Mansehra Ring Road and the N15/N35 Chilas interchange; and within 10 miles of the Line of Control.

The FCDO has defined “the town of Arandu 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, all Essential travel is advised against. which runs from the N10/N25 intersection to the Balochistan/Sindh border, including the port city of Gwadar; and the northern areas of Sindh province, including the city of Nawabshah.”

The advisory also referred to regular political rallies and protests in Pakistan, which “can have an anti-Western dimension and may turn violent”.

The travel advisory states, “Avoid demonstrations, large crowds of people and political events. Stay alert to local news and social media where possible, and follow the advice of local authorities and your tour company.” If near the protest site, go to a safe place.

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

The FCDO advised, “The risk may increase at certain periods of the year. During holy periods/religious holidays, the potential for targeted attacks, including against Western interests and religious minorities, increases.”

The advisory also mentioned Pakistan’s vulnerability to extreme weather conditions and natural disasters, while also asking the British to ensure precautions.

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

It also mentioned the danger of earthquakes in the country, and asked its citizens to familiarize themselves with safety procedures in case of such an event.

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