Cigna International Health Insurance

Pakistan Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Apr 07, 2006

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 January 27, 2006.

Due to on-going concerns about the possibility of terrorist activity directed against American citizens and interests, the Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Pakistan. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and the Consulates in Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar continue to operate at reduced staffing levels. Family members of official Americans assigned to the Embassy in Islamabad and to the three consulates in Pakistan were ordered to leave the country in March 2002 and have not been allowed to return.

Al-Qaida and Taliban elements continue to operate inside Pakistan, particularly along the porous Afghan border region. Their presence, coupled with that of indigenous sectarian and militant groups in Pakistan, continues to pose potential danger to American citizens. Continuing tensions in the Middle East also increase the possibility of violence against Westerners in Pakistan. As security has tightened at official U.S. facilities, terrorists and their sympathizers have demonstrated their willingness and capability to attack more vulnerable targets, including facilities where Americans are generally known to congregate or visit, such as hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, or outdoor recreation events. On March 2, 2006, a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives as a vehicle carrying an American Foreign Service officer passed by on its way to Consulate Karachi. The diplomat, the Consulates locally-employed driver and three other people were killed in the blast; 52 others were wounded. In September 2005, McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Karachi were bombed, resulting in multiple injuries. Another bomb was detonated near American and other businesses in Karachi in November 2005, killing three people and wounding 15 others.

U.S. citizens who travel to or remain in Pakistan despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to register with the Embassy's Consular Section or the Consulates in Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov and obtain updated information on travel and security within Pakistan. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Persons wishing to register in person at the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi should call that office for information on how to register given the special security measures in effect. Updated travel and security information for Pakistan is issued periodically via the emergency alert system (the warden network). U.S. citizens in country should take appropriate individual precautions to ensure their security and safety. These measures include maintaining good situational awareness, avoiding crowds and demonstrations, as well as keeping a low profile, varying times and routes for all required travel and ensuring that travel documents and visas are valid.

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 Embassys and Consulates websites have the latest information on more specific travel restrictions and conditions.

Many areas of Pakistan, such as the federally-administered tribal areas along the international border and the area adjacent to the line of control in the disputed territory of Kashmir, are restricted for non-Pakistanis. The infrastructure of this region and the Northwest Frontier Province was devastated as a result of the October 8, 2005 earthquake. Many hospitals were destroyed and traveling even short distances can be very difficult. Tribal unrest and separatist movements in Balochistan have turned increasingly dangerous since a series of attacks in December 2005. 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.

Contact information follows for all four posts in Pakistan:

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. Their telephone is (92-21) 520-4200 (after hours: 92-21-520-4400; fax 92-21-568-0496, website http://usembassy.state.gov/karachi.

The U.S. Consulate in Lahore is located at 50- Sharah-E-Abdul Hameed Bin Badees, (Old Empress Road) near Shimla Hill Rotary, telephone (92-42) 603-4000 or 603-4250, fax (92-42) 603-4200, website http://lahore.usconsulate.gov. Email address:

The U.S. Consulate in Peshawar is located at 11 Hospital Road, Cantonment, Peshawar; telephone (92-91) 527-9801 through 803 and (92-91) 528-5901 through 903; fax (92-91) 527-6712, website http://peshawar.usconsulate.gov/.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement and the Pakistan Consular Information Sheet and Travel Warning can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

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