Pakistan Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
May 27, 2002
Due to the current tensions between India and Pakistan, particularly along
the border and the
Line of Control in Kashmir, the Department of State reiterates its warning
to American citizens to defer travel to Pakistan. This Travel Warning
supersedes the Travel Warning for Pakistan dated
March 22, 2002.
Tensions between India and Pakistan have risen to 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. This was demonstrated by the March 17 attack on worshippers at a
church service in Islamabad, where two Americans were killed and several
more were injured, as well as the brutal kidnapping and murder of an
American journalist in Karachi in early 2002.
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 should consider departing
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
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 reside in or visit Pakistan should exercise maximum caution
and take prudent measures. They should avoid crowds, demonstrations, and
areas where Americans generally congregate.