This Travel Warning updates information on security incidents and reminds U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Pakistan. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated December 5, 2006.
The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against non-essential travel to Pakistan in light of the threat of terrorist activity.
The presence of Al-Qaida, Taliban elements, and indigenous sectarian groups poses a potential danger to American citizens, especially along the porous border with Afghanistan. Continuing tensions in the Middle East also increase the possibility of violence against Westerners in Pakistan. Terrorists and their sympathizers have demonstrated their willingness and capability to attack targets where Americans are known to congregate or visit, such as hotels, clubs and restaurants, places of worship, schools, or outdoor recreation events. American fast food restaurants and other companies in Karachi were bombed in late 2005, resulting in several deaths and multiple injuries among Pakistani employees and customers. On March 2, 2006, an American diplomat, his locally employed driver, and three others were killed when a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives in front of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi. Fifty-two others were wounded.
Fatal bomb attacks have occurred in Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Lahore, and other Pakistani cities in 2006 and 2007. Some of the attacks have occurred outside major hotels, market areas and other locations frequented by Americans. Other recent targets have included Pakistani government officials and buildings, and international NGOs.
U.S. citizens who travel to or remain in Pakistan despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to register with the Embassy in Islamabad or the Consulates in Karachi, Lahore, or Peshawar. This registration can be completed online through the Department of State’s travel registration website: https://travelregistration.state.gov. Alternatively, Americans without Internet access should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate for information on registering in person. Registration enables citizens to obtain updated information on travel and security within Pakistan via the emergency alert system (warden network). Americans in country should take appropriate individual precautions to ensure their safety and security. These measures include maintaining good situational awareness, avoiding crowds and demonstrations and keeping a low profile. Americans should avoid setting patterns by varying times and routes for all required travel. Americans should ensure that their travel documents and visas are valid at all times.
From time to time, any post in Pakistan may temporarily suspend public services for security reasons. Official Americans may be prohibited from traveling to certain areas of Pakistan due to security concerns. Therefore, they may not be able to render immediate service to American citizens in distress. The websites of the Embassy and Consulates are regularly updated with the latest information on more specific travel restrictions and conditions.
Many areas of Pakistan, such as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the Afghan border and the area adjacent to the Line of Control (LOC) in the disputed territory of Kashmir, are restricted for non-Pakistanis. The infrastructure of this region and some of the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) was devastated as a result of the October 8, 2005 earthquake. Many hospitals were destroyed and traveling even short distances can be very difficult. Travel to any restricted region requires official permission by the Government of Pakistan. Failure to obtain such permission in advance can result in arrest and detention by Pakistani authorities.
The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is located at Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5; telephone: (92-51) 208-0000; Consular Section telephone: (92-51) 208-2700; fax: (92-51) 282-2632; website: http://islamabad.usembassy.gov/.
The U.S. Consulate General in Karachi, located at 8 Abdullah Haroon Road, closed its public operations indefinitely due to security concerns. U.S. citizens requiring emergency assistance should call the Consular Section in Karachi; telephone: (92-21) 520-4200 or (92-21) 520-4400 after hours; fax: (92-21) 568-0496; website: http://karachi.usconsulate.gov/.
The U.S. Consulate in Lahore is located on 50 Sharah-E-Abdul Hamid Bin Badees (Old Empress Road), near Shimla Hill Rotary; tel:(92-42)603-4000 or (91-92)603-4250; fax: (92-42) 603-4200; website: http://lahore.usconsulate.gov; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. Consulate in Peshawar is located at 11 Hospital Road, Cantonment, Peshawar; telephone: (92-91) 526-8800; fax: (92-91) 528-4171; website: http://Peshawar.usconsulate.gov.