This Security Message alerts U.S. citizens about security concerns leading up to and including the March 23, 2015 Pakistan Day holiday.
The U.S. Embassy expects a significant increase in the presence of security personnel around Islamabad and other major cities in Pakistan. We expect there may be disruptions to communication and transportation systems from Saturday, March 21 through Monday, March 23. In particular, there may be large-scale outages of cell-phone service and disruption of radio frequencies. Roads may be closed or diverted and airports may be operating at reduced capacity. Those choosing to travel may experience considerable delays.
The Embassy advises U.S. citizens to stay clear of all published parade routes and ceremony venues. U.S. citizens are reminded to keep a low profile and to avoid large gatherings during this holiday.
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 February 24, 2015.
The Mission reiterates its advice to all U.S. citizens to maintain good situational awareness, avoid large crowds, and keep a low profile, particularly when visiting locations frequented by Westerners. U.S. citizens in Pakistan are strongly urged to avoid hotels that do not apply stringent security measures, and to vary times and routes for all travel.
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:
U.S. Citizen Contact Information:
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.