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Pakistan Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Mar 18, 2002

This Travel Warning is being issued to warn American citizens to defer travel to Pakistan. The Department has authorized the voluntary departure of dependents of U.S. Embassy and Consulate personnel in Pakistan. The March 17 attack on worshippers at a church service in Islamabad underscores the possibility that terrorists may seek civilian targets. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Pakistan dated March 2, 2002.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer travel to Pakistan. Terrorist groups have demonstrated a willingness to hit civilian as well as official targets. An American journalist was kidnapped and brutally murdered in Karachi in early 2002. The Department has reports that American citizens generally have been targeted for kidnapping or other terrorist actions. The March 17 attack on worshippers at the Protestant International Church in Islamabad underscores the 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 has approved the authorized (voluntary) departure of eligible family members of Embassy and Consulate personnel in Pakistan. The Consulates in Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi will remain open for American citizen services but not visa services. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is open for all services, including visa services. However, from time to time, the missions in Pakistan may temporarily close or suspend public services as necessary to review their security posture.

The Government of Pakistan continues to give full support to the international campaign against terrorism. While public sympathy for the Taliban and Al-Qaida has apparently lessened, it still exists to some degree. In addition, 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 which 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, 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 reside in or visit Pakistan should exercise maximum caution and take prudent measures. They should avoid crowds, demonstrations, and areas where Americans generally congregate.

U.S. citizens in Pakistan are strongly urged to register and obtain updated security information at the American Embassy in Islamabad, the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi, the U.S. Consulate in Lahore, or the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar at the following addresses:

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is located at 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.

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