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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 travel restrictions.

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 their websites:

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, website

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

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, website

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

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