(May 19, 2022)
Reminder: Given the recent rise in sporadic violence in and around Sindh, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the U.S. Mission in Pakistan reminds U.S. citizens of safety and security recommendations while living or traveling in Pakistan.
The Department of State’s Travel Advisory lists Pakistan as “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” due to terrorism and sectarian violence. Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Pakistan. Historically, terrorist groups and extremist elements have conducted indiscriminate attacks on civilian as well as local military and police targets.
Despite improvements in the security situation, terrorist attacks remain frequent in Pakistan. Extremist groups within Pakistan continue to seek opportunities to attack locations where U.S. citizens and Westerners are known to congregate or visit, including government facilities and public locations, such as schools and universities, shopping malls, markets, hotels, clubs and restaurants, places of worship, transportation hubs/stations, minority neighborhoods, and outdoor recreation areas. Terrorists also target Pakistani officials, government facilities, religious minorities and facilities including Sufi shrines, and they regularly resort to kidnapping for ransom.
The Government of Pakistan maintains heightened security measures, particularly in major cities, and these measures can vary from day to day. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates regularly assess security situations and restrict the movements of official personnel.
We recommend you limit the frequency of travel and minimize the duration of trips to public markets, restaurants, and other public locations. We advise against the use of public transportation in Pakistan. Depending on ongoing security assessments, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates sometimes place areas such as tourist attractions, hotels, markets, shopping malls, and restaurants off-limits to official personnel.
We recommend you follow media coverage of local events and maintain good situational awareness and operational security wherever you travel in Pakistan. If you feel that your life is in danger in Pakistan, we advise you to report the threat to local police authorities and consider immediately changing locations or departing Pakistan. For additional information, please consult Pakistan Travel Advisory.
Safety, Crime Prevention, and Security Actions to Consider:
- Follow the above guidance.
- Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, and see the S. Embassy’s web page for country-specific COVID-19 information.
- Visit the Department of State website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
- Review the Country Security Report for Pakistan.
- Remain aware of your surroundings and local events.
- Vary travel routes and schedules, especially for routine trips.
- Be cognizant of your surroundings, particularly around public markets, restaurants, government and military institutions, places of worship, and other locations.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive security alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Have a contingency plan for emergencies.
- Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
- Lock your home and vehicle doors.
- Hire a 24-hour guard, if possible.
- Keep bags or valuables under your legs away from passing vehicle traffic and ensure bag straps are not visible.
- Travel in groups.
- Be accompanied by a native Urdu speaker if you travel outside urban areas.
- Carry your mobile phone.
- Avoid large crowds.
- Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of a large gathering and/or demonstration.
- Maintain a low profile.
U.S. Consulate General, Karachi
+(92) (21) 3527 5000
U.S. Consulate General, Lahore
+(92) (42) 3603 4000
U.S. Consulate General, Peshawar
+(92) (91) 526 8800
State Department – Consular Affairs
+(1) 888-407-4747 or +(1) 202-501-4444
Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates