Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Large Number of Protests in Proximity to U.S. Consulate General and Throughout Lahore

On Friday, September 8 beginning at 14:00, at least eight organizations are expected to demonstrate at the Lahore Press Club regarding events in Burma. Police have advised that there may be as many as 2,000 protesters.

Consulate General Lahore is aware of at least eight additional protests scheduled to begin at 14:00 throughout the city. Permits have so far been issued for the China Chowk, Australia Masjid Chowk, Shalimar Chowk, Liberty Chowk, Township Chowk, Wafaqi Colony Johar Town, Masjid-e-Shuhda Mall Road, and Saddar Chowk areas of the city. There is also a strong possibility that additional pop-up protests will form.

Also on Friday, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party is expected to have a political gathering at Mozong Chowk, approximately 5km from the Consulate General. It is in connection with the NA 120 election campaign. PTI Chairman Imran Khan is expected to address the gathering. Police expect 12,000-15,000 PTI supporters to attend.

Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

U.S. citizens are reminded that there is an active Travel Warning for Pakistan issued on May 22, 2017. U.S. citizens are urged to defer all non-essential travel to Pakistan. The Mission reminds those U.S. citizens considering travel to or remaining in Pakistan despite this warning to:

· keep a trusted friend informed of your movements in country

· maintain vigilant situational awareness and keep a low profile

· avoid large crowds, locations frequented by Westerners, and hotels that do not apply stringent security measures

· vary your times and routes when traveling in Pakistan

· verify that travel documents, visas, and residency documents remain valid and accessible at all times

Consular services in Pakistan are available in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. The consulate in Peshawar is not providing consular services at this time.

For Further Information:

· See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Worldwide Travel Alert, the active Travel Warning for Pakistan, and Pakistan Country Specific Information.

· Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

· Contact the U.S. Consulate in Lahore, located at 50 Shahrah-E-Abdul Hameed Bin Badees (Old Empress Road), at +92 42 3603 4000. (Calling within Pakistan, dial 042 3603 4000.) This number is available 24 hours a day for emergencies involving U.S. citizens in the province of Punjab south of the Jehlum River and the district of Bhakkar. See also Consulate General Lahore’s section on the Mission Pakistan webpage.

· Contact the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, located at Plot No. 3-5, TPX Area, Mai Kolachi Road, Karachi, at +92 21 3527 5000. (Calling within Pakistan, dial 021 3527 5000.) This number is available 24 hours a day for emergencies involving U.S. citizens in the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan. See also Consulate General Karachi’s section on the Mission Pakistan webpage.

· You may also contact the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, located at Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, +92 51 201 4000. (Calling within Pakistan, dial 051 201 4000.) This number also is available 24 hours a day for emergencies involving U.S. citizens in all other parts of Pakistan. See also the Embassy’s webpage.

· Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

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