Pakistan Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Apr 21, 2003
This Travel Warning is being updated to inform U.S. citizens that the
Department has authorized the immediate return of U.S. Embassy and Consulate
employees to Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar, effective April 17. Family
members of official Americans were ordered to leave the country in March
2002 and are not yet being allowed to return. Because of regional tensions
and continued high security concerns about terrorists in Pakistan, all U.S.
citizens should defer travel to Pakistan.
U.S. citizens in the country are strongly urged to depart. This supersedes
the Travel Warning issued March 28, 2003.
U.S. citizens who remain in Pakistan despite this warning should take
appropriate precautions to ensure their security and safety. These measures
include being vigilant of their surroundings, avoiding crowds and
demonstrations, keeping a low profile, varying times and routes for all
required travel and ensuring travel documents are current.
Americans are also encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the
U.S. Embassy in Islamabad or the Consulates in Peshawar or Lahore and enroll
in the warden system (emergency alert network) to obtain updated information
on travel and security in Pakistan. Persons wishing to register at the U.S.
Consulate General in Karachi should call that office.
From time to time, the missions in Pakistan may temporarily suspend public
services for security reasons. Also, due to security concerns, official
Americans may be prohibited from traveling to certain areas of Pakistan.
The Embassy and Consulates websites will have the latest information on
As security is tightened at official U.S. facilities, terrorists and their
sympathizers seek more vulnerable targets. These include facilities where
Americans are generally known to congregate or visit, such as hotels, clubs,
restaurants, places of worship, schools, or outdoor recreation events.
Terrorists have already shown their willingness and capability to attack
hotels and Christian facilities.
There is evidence of a potential threat to U.S. citizens and other
westerners in Pakistan from terrorists posing as street vendors or beggars
on busy streets. Americans are urged to avoid congested areas where these
individuals could approach their vehicles. Although the high level of
tension that existed last spring between India and Pakistan has subsided,
the risk of renewed tension cannot be ruled out.
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 also should 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 in advance of travel
whether the areas they intend to visit are restricted in any way. If so,
the appropriate authorities must be contacted and approval obtained before
travel is undertaken.
U.S. citizens should ensure that their travel documents remain valid for
travel and are urged to register and obtain updated security information at
the U.S. Embassy or Consulates at the following addresses and particularly
The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is located in Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5;
(92-51) 2080-0000; consular section telephone (92-51) 2080-2700; 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. Their telephone is (92-21) 568-5170
(after hours: 92-21-568-1606); fax (92-21) 568-0496, website
The U.S. Consulate in Lahore is located on 50-Empress Road Sharah-E-Abdul
Hameed Bin Badees, (Old Empress Road) near Shimla Road; telephone (92-42)
636-5530 during regular working hours;
fax (92-42) 636-5177, website http://usembassy.state.gov/lahore.
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 additional information, consult the Department of State's Consular
Information Sheet for Pakistan and the Worldwide Caution Public
Announcement, on the Department's internet website at