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February 2, 2020

US issues new travel alert for Pakistan

Top Story

February 2, 2020

WASHINGTON: The US Department of State has issued a new travel advisory asking its citizen to reconsider visiting Pakistan due to terrorism.

The advisory on Friday also issued the highest level travel alert for Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as vicinity along the Line of Control (LoC).

The highest level travel alert recommends “not to travel” to Balochistan, KP; while the rest of the areas marked on Level 3 of the travel alert.

“Do not travel to the India Pakistan border. Militant groups are known to operate in the area. India and Pakistan maintain a strong military presence on both sides of the border,” the advisory says.

It further stated that “terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Pakistan. A local history of terrain and ongoing ideological aspirations of violence by extremist elements have led to indiscriminate attacks on civilian as well as local military and police targets.” According to the advisory, terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, military installations, airports, universities, tourist locations, schools, hospitals, places of worship and government facilities. Terrorists have targeted US diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past.

Terrorist attacks continue to happen across Pakistan, with most occurring in Balochistan and KP, including the former Fata. Large-scale terrorist attacks have resulted in numerous casualties, the State Department said.

“Do not travel to Balochistan province. Active terrorist groups, an active separatist movement, sectarian conflicts, and deadly terrorist attacks against civilians, government offices, and security forces destabilise the province, including all major cities. In 2019, several bombings occurred in Balochistan that resulted in injuries and deaths,” the Department said in its advisory. “Do not travel to KP, which includes the former Fata. Active terrorist and insurgent groups routinely conduct attacks against civilians, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), government offices, and security forces.

These groups historically have not discriminated between government officials and civilians. Assassination and kidnapping attempts are common, including the targeting of polio eradication teams.”