The US has urged its citizens to reconsider travel to Pakistan, especially its restive provinces, due to terrorism and sectarian violence.
In a travel advisory issued on Thursday, the US State Department urged its citizens not to travel to Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) provinces, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), due to terrorism and kidnapping.
“Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to terrorism and sectarian violence. Some areas have increased risk," it said, putting the advisory to Level 3.
Level 3 travel warning is issued when a long-term or serious situation puts travellers and visitors at risk, and non-essential travel to the destination should be avoided.
The advisory also recommended Americans not to travel in the immediate vicinity of the Line of Control (LoC) due to terrorism and the potential for armed conflict.
Noting that terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Pakistan, it said a local history of terrorism and ongoing ideological aspirations of violence by extremist elements have led to indiscriminate attacks on civilian as well as local military and police targets.
“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,” the advisory said.
Terrorist attacks continue to happen across Pakistan, with most occurring in Balochistan and KPK, including the former FATA. Large-scale terrorist attacks have resulted in numerous casualties, it said.