The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad wishes to inform U.S. citizens that the Department of State recently issued an updated Worldwide Caution on September 14, with information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions, political violence, and criminal activity against U.S. citizens and interests abroad. This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated March 6, 2017.
As terrorist attacks, political upheaval, and violence often take place without any warning, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness when traveling. To better prepare for possible emergencies, U.S. citizens are encouraged to read Country Specific Information pages, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts on travel.state.gov before planning a trip.
Travelers are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP)to receive security messages and make it easier to locate U.S. citizens in an emergency. The Department uses these security messages to convey information about terrorist threats, security incidents, planned demonstrations, natural disasters, etc. In an emergency, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate or call the following numbers: 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.
U.S. government facilities worldwide remain in a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Terrorist groups, including ISIS, al-Qa’ida, their associates, and those inspired by such organizations, are intent on attacking U.S. citizens wherever they are. Extremists may use conventional or non-conventional weapons to target U.S. government and private interests. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods to attack crowds more effectively, including using edged weapons, pistols, and vehicles as weapons. Extremists increasingly focus on “soft” targets, such as:
- High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
- Hotels, clubs, and restaurants
- Places of worship
- Shopping malls and markets
- Tourism infrastructure
- Public transportation systems
In multiple regions, terrorists, guerrilla groups, and criminals seek to kidnap U.S. citizens to finance their operations or for political purposes. The Department also remains concerned that terrorists could again seek to down aircraft using concealed explosives or hijack commercial flights.
Private U.S. citizens should not travel to any country to participate in armed conflict. U.S. citizens are reminded that fighting on behalf of or providing other forms of support to designated terrorist organizations can constitute the provision of material support for terrorism, which is a serious crime that can result in penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and large fines.
In addition to concerns stemming from terrorism, travelers should be alert to the possibility of political unrest, violence, demonstrations, and criminal activities when traveling. Country-specific information pages and Travel Warnings should be consulted to obtain the latest data on such threats.
U.S. citizens who live in or visit Pakistan are particularly encouraged to read the Travel Warning for Pakistan.
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. 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 other parts of Pakistan. See also https://pk.usembassy.gov.
- 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 https://pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/karachi/.
- 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 Peshawar, located at 11 Hospital Road, Peshawar Cantonment, at +92 91 526 8800. (Calling within Pakistan, dial 091 526 8800.) This number is available 24 hours a day for emergencies involving U.S. citizens in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). See also Consulate General Peshawar’s section on the Mission Pakistan 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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