Pakistan Travel Warning
Issued by U.S. Department of State
Jun 26, 2002
In light of the June 14, 2002 car bombing in Karachi and the ongoing concern for further terrorist actions against American citizens, the Department of State again reiterates its warning to American citizens to defer travel to Pakistan and strongly urges American citizens in the country to depart. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Pakistan dated June 5, 2002.
Tensions between India and Pakistan remain at serious levels, and the risk of intensified military hostilities cannot be ruled out. Virtually all land and air links with India are closed. Military movements continue along both the Line of Control in Kashmir and the border between India and Pakistan. Artillery firing along the Line of Control has caused death and injury in that area.
The possibility of threats to Americans and other civilian targets continues. The most recent attack was the June 14 car bomb attack against the American Consulate in Karachi that resulted in the loss of life of many Pakistani citizens in the vicinity of the consulate building. In March, an attack on worshippers at a church service in Islamabad killed two Americans and injured several others, and in early 2002 an American journalist in Karachi was kidnapped and brutally murdered.
There is a growing possibility that as security is increased at official U.S. facilities, terrorists and their sympathizers will seek less well-protected targets. These may include facilities where Americans are generally known to congregate or visit, such as clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, or outdoor recreation events.
As a result of these concerns, the Department ordered the departure of non-emergency personnel and family members of the Embassy and Consulates in Pakistan on March 22, 2002. Americans in Pakistan are strongly urged to depart the country. The Embassy and Consulates in Pakistan will remain available for American citizen services. However, from time to time, the missions in Pakistan may temporarily suspend public services as necessary to review their security posture. Due to security concerns, official Americans may be prohibited from traveling to certain areas of Pakistan. Americans seeking assistance should telephone the Embassy or Consulates before visiting to ensure the offices are open and to obtain the latest information on travel restrictions.
The Government of Pakistan continues to give full support to the international campaign against terrorism. As Operation Enduring Freedom defeats Al-Qaida strongholds in Afghanistan, some Al-Qaida members have fled to Pakistan and other countries. This, coupled with the presence of indigenous sectarian and militant groups in Pakistan, requires that all Americans in or traveling through Pakistan take appropriate security measures. Events in the Middle East also increase the possibility of violence.
American citizens should also be aware that there are many areas of Pakistan that are restricted by the Government of Pakistan and require non-Pakistanis to obtain official permission before they may travel to them. This includes the tribal areas of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province, and areas along the Line of Control, the Pakistan-India border, and near other sensitive areas and facilities. Travelers need to determine beforehand whether the areas they intend to visit have any Pakistan government restrictions on them. If so, then the appropriate authorities must be contacted and approval obtained before travel is undertaken.
Americans who continue to reside in or visit Pakistan despite this warning should exercise maximum caution and take prudent measures. They should avoid crowds, demonstrations, and areas where Americans and other expatriates generally congregate. They should always remain aware of their immediate surroundings and vary routes and timing of periodic travel. All American citizens should ensure that their travel documents remain valid for travel.
U.S. citizens who remain in Pakistan are strongly urged to register and obtain updated security information at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates at the following addresses:
The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is located in Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5; telephone (92-51) 2080-0000; consular section telephone (92-51) 2080-2700; fax (92-51) 282-2632.
The U.S. Consulate General in Karachi is located at 8 Abdullah Haroon Road; telephone (92-21) 568-5170 (after hours: 92-21-568-1606); fax (92-21) 568-0496.
The U.S. Consulate in Lahore is located on 50-Empress Road near Shimla Road or Sharah-E-Abdul Hamid Bin Badees, (Old Empress Road); telephone (92-42) 636-5530 during regular working hours; fax (92-42) 636-5177.
The U.S. Consulate in Peshawar is located at 11 Hospital Road, Cantonment, Peshawar; telephone (92-91) 279-801 through 803; fax (92-91) 276-712.
For further general information regarding travel to Pakistan, U.S. citizens should consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Pakistan, available via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov