Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Safety During the Muharram Holidays

This Security Message alerts U.S. citizens about safety concerns during the Muharram holidays. From November 2-5, there will be a large number of gatherings, processions, and demonstrations throughout the country. Islamabad police are expected to mobilize several thousand additional police officers, particularly in the downtown vicinity and the area adjacent to the Diplomatic Enclave. The U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section will suspend routine services during this time, but will be reachable for emergencies (please see below for contact information).

The Muharram processions and events are often unpredictable and the targets of sectarian violence. Previous processions have resulted in multiple deaths and injuries. These attacks have in turn generated protests, resulting in further restrictions on movement to include the closure of major highways, motorways, and main roads within major cities.

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad advises U.S. citizens to stay clear of all published procession routes and reminds citizens that U.S. government personnel may not visit mosques and other places of worship located outside the Diplomatic Enclave. U.S. citizens are reminded to keep a low profile and to avoid large gatherings, including processions, during this religious holiday.

In previous years, there have been large-scale disruptions to cell-phone service. Processions will cause major road closures in and around Islamabad and major cities throughout the country.

From November 2-5 processions are tentatively scheduled to be centered on the following locations:

-Sunday, November 2nd: G9 (Islamabad)

-Monday, November 3rd: G6/2 (Islamabad

-Tuesday, November 4th: Rawalpindi

-Wednesday, November 5th: Bari Imam (Islamabad)

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 theWorldwide 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:

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: