London [UK]July 11 (ANI): The UK has issued updated travel guidance for its citizens to Pakistan, saying terrorism risk is one of the key factors.
“Terrorists are likely to attempt attacks in Pakistan. There is a high threat of terrorism, kidnapping and sectarian violence across the country, including major cities such as Islamabad and Rawalpindi,” the FCDO said in its latest travel warning, Lahab Al and Karachi. “
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has provided these instructions for UK residents and travelers to the country.
“Foreigners, especially Westerners, may be immediate targets. You should try to avoid all crowds and public events across Pakistan, including political rallies and religious events, and take appropriate safety precautions,” it added.
FCDO specifically advises Pakistani citizens not to travel to some places which are Baujar, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Gulam, North Waziri in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Stan and South Waziristan regions.
It also advises against traveling to the Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner and Lower Dir areas of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Peshawar districts, taking the Mardan ring road from the N45 As far north as Chitral and the fringes of Balochistan, excluding the southern coast of Balochistan.
The FCDO advises against travel, unless necessary, to “the town of Alandu and the road between Milkani and Alandu in Cape Town Province; the southern coast of Balochistan, defined as the area south of (and including) the N10 highway and the N25 Section of the expressway The line extends from the N10/N25 junction to the Balochistan/Sindh border, including the port city of Gwadar; and areas north of Sindh, including the city of Nawab Shah.”
The advisory also mentioned that regular political rallies and protests in Pakistan could have an “anti-Western overtone and could turn violent”.
“Avoid demonstrations, crowd gatherings and political events. Be alert to local news and, where possible, follow social media and follow advice from local authorities and tour companies,” said the travel advice, which asked UK nationals to turn away. If near a protest site, move to a safe location.
Areas with high population density and insufficient security, including markets, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, hiking trails, airports, infrastructure projects, public transport, schools and educational institutions, are vulnerable to attacks, according to the advice. It added that it was vital for UK citizens to maintain continued vigilance in these areas and limit exposure to high-risk areas.
The circular also mentioned Pakistan’s extreme weather conditions and its vulnerability to natural disasters and asked its citizens to ensure precautionary measures.
“You should avoid unnecessary direct sunlight and take precautionary measures… You should follow the local and international weather updates from the Pakistan Meteorological Department before travelling, and follow the advice of local authorities and tour companies,” the advisory reads.
It also mentioned the risk of earthquakes in the country, asking citizens to familiarize themselves with safety procedures in the event of such an event. (Arnie)
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