Security Alert: U.S. Mission Pakistan


Islamabad:  On Thursday, September 20, two processions are expected to take place in the G6 sector of Islamabad, and on Saturday, September 22, in the Bari Imam area of Islamabad. On Friday, September 21, one procession is expected in the Raja Bazar area of Rawalpindi. From Thursday, September 20, through Saturday, September 22, smaller spontaneous processions may occur throughout the cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi

Karachi:  On Wednesday, September 19 (08:00 to 19:00), processions are expected near Shah-e-Khurasan Imambargah, (8 km northeast of the U.S. Consulate), via M.A. Jinnah Road, Saddar, Empress Market, Tibet Center, Bolton Market, and Kharadar to conclude at Husainiyah Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar (3.5 km northwest of the U.S. Consulate). Between Wednesday, September 19, and Friday, September 21, auxiliary processions will begin outside of downtown Karachi (i.e. Liaquatabad, Rizvia, Ancholi, etc.) and move along Shahrah-e-Faisal, Shahrah-e-Quaideen, Gulbahar, Soldier Bazaar, Garden, Saddar, and Fatima Jinnah Colony. These smaller processions will merge with the larger procession at Shah-e-Kharasan on all three days.

Lahore:  There will be processions around Anar Kali, Old Anar Kali, Shadman, Islampura, Shahdara, Badshahi Mosque, Mughalpura, Lal Pull, Bahar Shah road, Sanda, Chburchi and walled city (Motchi gate, Kashmiri bazar, Kotwali, Rang Mahal, Urdu bazar, Data Darbar and Lower Mall area).

Peshawar:  On Monday, September 17, processions are expected in the city and inside the Cantonment on Saddar road.  The rallies will not affect Grand Trunk (GT) Road as well any of the main roads in the cantonment.  On Thursday, September 20, processions are expected on Main Saddar road and the old city areas Khyber bazaar, Qissa Khuwani Bazaar, Kohati, Kochi Bazar, Gulbahar, Hashtnagri, Faqir Abad.  On Friday, September 21 (after sunset), mourning events are being held in almost every Shia Mosque (imam Bargah) in Peshawar.

Event:  Religious gatherings and public processions are expected at various locations throughout Pakistan during Muharram-ul-Harram, particularly during the first 10 days of the month. The 9th and 10th days of Muharram (September 20 and 21), known as “Ashura,” are typically marked by the largest processions which have, in the past, been targets of sectarian violence throughout the country. After violence, protests have occurred, resulting in further restrictions on movement. Expect heavy police presence in major cities to maintain public safety throughout Muharram, especially near larger scheduled processions. Many roads will be blocked or heavily congested. Cellular service may be interrupted in areas.  Security check points are likely and some portions of major cities may be blocked off.

U.S. government personnel will be under an increased security posture with more restricted movements from Thursday, September 20, through Saturday, September 22, and may be extended beyond September 22 if warranted.

Actions to Take: 

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid the area.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Monitor local media for updates.