'Do not travel to India-Pak border'; exercise caution due to crime, terrorism: US travel advisory to citizens
Washington, Nov 16: The US State Department has asked its citizens travelling Pakistan to reconsider visiting the country due to terrorism and sectarian violence, while asking citizens, who are travelling to India, to avoid visiting Jammu and Kashmir due to terrorism and civil unrest, and also within 10 kilometres of the India-Pakistan border due to the potential for armed conflict.
It issued a level two and three travel advisories for India and Pakistan on Monday. "Indian authorities report rape is one of the fastest-growing crimes in India. Violent crimes, such as sexual assault, has occurred at tourist sites and in other locations," the statement from the US State Department said.
The statement warns the citizens that terrorist attacks might happen with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and government facilities, it said. The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in rural areas from eastern Maharashtra and northern Telangana through western West Bengal as US government employees must obtain special authorisation to travel to these areas, the notice said.
The advisory for Pakistan asked citizens not to travel to Balochistan province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), due to terrorism and kidnapping, and also in the immediate vicinity of the Line of Control due to terrorism and the potential for armed conflict.
"Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Pakistan. A local history of terrorism and ongoing ideological aspirations of violence by extremist elements have led to indiscriminate attacks on civilians as well as local military and police targets," the notice said.
"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," it said.
In the past, US diplomats and diplomatic facilities were targeted by terrorists.
The security situation in Pakistan has improved since 2014 and the government has taken counter-terrorist and counter militant operations. In major cities, particularly Islamabad, there are greater security resources and infrastructure which will be readily able to respond to an emergency compared to other areas of the country, the advisory said, noting that terrorist attacks are rare in Islamabad. With inputs from PTI