Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Advisory on Trekking in Gilgit-Baltistan

As the trekking and mountain climbing season approaches, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, alerts U.S. citizens regarding security and other concerns in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. In June 2013, gunmen dressed as paramilitary police attacked a Nanga Parbat mountain base camp and killed ten foreign nationals, including one U.S. citizen. As a result of the attack, the U.S. Mission to Pakistan instructed its staff to suspend all personal travel to Gilgit-Baltistan until further notice. Unrest and sectarian violence in Gilgit-Baltistan led to unsafe conditions along roadways and the cancellation of all flights into and out of the region in April 2012. U.S. citizens should be aware that adverse weather conditions often delay or cause flights to be cancelled without notice. Visit the Pakistan Tourism Development Cooperation website for the most current trekking and mountaineering information.

We continue to discourage non-essential travel to Pakistan. For trekkers who decide otherwise, the safest option is to join an organized group or use a reputable firm that provides experienced guides and porters. We also strongly encourage trekkers to obtain air ambulance insurance that covers air evacuation from remote areas. Make sure that the air ambulance firm you contract has a local agent in Pakistan who can ensure that local rescue teams provide the required emergency services. Rescue teams usually require advance payment of the total evacuation cost from the insurance company before performing rescue operations. Over the past year, at least one local rescue subcontractor refused to perform air rescue operations because the U.S.-based air ambulance insurance company could not render timely payment, stranding the trekkers for days. In these situations, the Embassy is unable to intervene or provide rescue services.

Trekkers are also advised to register with the Department of State’s traveler registration system (STEP) and to provide a detailed copy of their itinerary to family or friends in the United States.

We also remind all U.S. citizens to review the Worldwide Caution issued by the Department of State on September 25, 2013.

For more information on the risks of travel to Pakistan, please see the Department of State’s most recent Travel Warning.

Updated Information on Travel and Security

Updated information on travel and security in Pakistan can 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.

U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Pakistan are encouraged to enroll in theSmart 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.

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:

The U.S. Consulate General in Lahore is located at 50 Sharah-E-Abdul Hameed Bin Badees, (Old Empress Road) near Shimla Hill Rotary. Consular operations in Lahore have been temporarily suspended. Please direct any inquiries to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad or the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi.