The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens in Islamabad and Rawalpindi to exercise caution and avoid planned processions for Chehlum on December 12 and 13.
- In Islamabad, the Chehlum procession will occur in Sector G/6 on December 12 after Juma prayers and is expected to end in the evening;
- In Rawalpindi, the procession will be held on Saturday afternoon, December 13, on the standard Ashura procession route.
While we are not aware of any threats to this year’s processions, we remind U.S. citizens that due to instances of sectarian violence directed at the Chehlum mourning processions in recent years, the Embassy has advised its employees to avoid these areas, and we recommend that private U.S. citizens observe the same precaution. All U.S. citizens are advised to monitor the situation via local media and our website, stay clear of all known procession routes and areas, keep a low profile, exercise caution, and avoid large gatherings.
U.S. citizens who are in Pakistan or who may be contemplating a visit to Pakistan are reminded to review the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Warning dated August 8, 2014:
We remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. Rallies, demonstrations, and processions occur regularly throughout Pakistan on very short notice and have often taken on an anti-American or anti-Western character. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. U.S. citizens should follow media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Scheduled or unscheduled protests may result in road closures, high volumes of road traffic, or other movement restrictions.
The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan urges U.S. citizens to vary their times and routes when traveling anywhere in Pakistan, and to avoid travel patterns to such locations that would allow other persons to predict when and where they will be. Depending on ongoing security assessments, and as part of routine operational security measures, the U.S. Mission occasionally places areas such as hotels, markets, airports, and/or restaurants off limits to official personnel.
Updated Information on Travel and Security
Updated information on travel and security in Pakistan may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on 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). For further information, please consult the Travel Warning for Pakistan and the Country Specific Information for Pakistan, as well as the Worldwide Caution. You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which also contains current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips. U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Pakistan are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you enroll, we can keep you up-to-date with important safety and security announcements and can also help your family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate General. To view emergency services to U.S. citizens in the different consular districts, please click on the links below:
Contact Information for All U.S. Mission to Pakistan Posts
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; e-mail address: ACSIslamabad@state.gov
The U.S. Consulate General Karachi, located at Plot No 3-5, TPX Area, Mai Kolachi Road, Karachi, provides services to U.S. citizens by appointment only. Services can be scheduled by calling (92-21) 3527-5000 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Monday-Friday; fax (92-21) 3527-5885; website; e-mail: ACSKarachi@state.gov.