Official Travel Advice for Pakistan
Safety and security (Balochistan) - On 11 May, armed militants attacked the Pearl Continental Hotel in Gwadar in southern Balochistan. Three people were killed and four injured.
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Advice current as at 4:00 am 22 May 2019.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:
- the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
- the districts of Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner and Lower Dir in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
- the city of Peshawar and districts south of the city, including travel on the Peshawar to Chitral road via the Lowari Pass
- northern and western Balochistan
- travel on the Karakoram Highway between Islamabad and Gilgit
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:
- the Kalesh Valley, the Bamoboret Valley and Arandu District to the south and west of Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
- the city of Quetta
- the city of Nawabshah in Sindh Province, and areas of interior Sindh to the north of Nawabshah
On 11 May, armed militants attacked the Pearl Continental Hotel in Gwadar, Balochistan.
On 8 May 2019, a bomb exploded near a police vehicle outside Data Darbar shrine in central Lahore. You should avoid religious events or gatherings, public events and large crowds of people throughout Pakistan.
Following a terrorist attack in Pulwama on 14 February 2019, there are heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, particularly across the Line of Control. Certain flight routes or airports continue to experience restrictions. You should check with your airline for the latest information on the status of your flight before travelling to the airport for any flight to and from Pakistan.
Protests can take place with little warning and turn violent quickly. You should avoid demonstrations, large crowds of people and public events throughout Pakistan.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Pakistan. There’s a high threat of terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout the country, including the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. You should be vigilant, avoid all crowds, public events, political gatherings, religious processions and sporting events, and take appropriate security precautions.
Foreigners, in particular westerners, may be directly targeted. Densely populated unsecured areas, such as markets, shopping malls, restaurants and places where westerners and the Pakistani elite are known to congregate, are potential focal points for attacks. You should be extra vigilant at all times and minimize your exposure to areas that pose a higher risk.
Security forces in Pakistan remain on high alert following previous attacks. Alert levels in major cities can fluctuate, and travellers should monitor local media. There may be increases in security force presence and restrictions on movement may be put in place at short notice. See Terrorism
During holy periods/religious holidays, there’s an increased risk of targeted attacks, including on western interests and religious minorities. On 17 December 2017, an attack at the Bethel Memorial Methodist church in Quetta killed nine and injured over 50 people. It’s possible that further Christian gatherings will be targeted in this way.
In August 2018, militants attacked a number of schools, including over a dozen schools in the Chilas, Darel and Tangir areas of Daimer District, Gilgit Baltistan. In security operations that followed, 2 militants were killed and over 30 arrested. Further attacks on schools and security operations in response are possible. You should seek and follow the advice of the local authorities.
There have been a number of recent terrorist attacks in Lahore. At the present time, you should exercise caution travelling to and around Lahore. Busy public places and events are often targeted, including public transport, major international hotels, the airport, parks, shopping malls and religious sites. Government, military and law enforcement facilities are also targeted. See Terrorism for more information.
On 14 March 2018, an explosion at the Nisar police check post near Raiwand on the southern outskirts of Lahore, close to the Tableeghi (Jamait e Islami) religious centre, caused numerous fatalities and multiple injuries.
Pakistan is in a major earthquake zone and remains at risk from further earthquakes, aftershocks, landslides and flooding. You should familiarise yourself with safety procedures in the event of an earthquake. See Natural disasters
Consular support is severely limited in parts of Pakistan where we advise against all travel and limited in the areas where we advise against all but essential travel. Consular support is also limited in parts of Pakistan where High Commission officials require travel permission from the Government of Pakistan. Permission is not guaranteed. The British High Commission’s ability to deliver consular assistance, including in an emergency, may be restricted or delayed in these areas. If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
Around 270,000 British nationals visit Pakistan every year. Most visits are trouble-free.
Quick Facts Tourist Information for:Pakistan
Drive on the: left
Visitors/Tourists: 907,000 in 2010
English (official language) 50%
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Largest City: Karachi