US consulate issues security message during Imran Khan protest in Karachi

Arif Qureshi | September 6, 2016

Karachi: The U.S. Consulate General in Karachi issued a security message for US citizens residing in Karachi in the light of political and religious festival like Eid-ul-Azha coming in the Month of September. US consulate advised US citizens of large protests scheduled to begin on September 6th that could cause traffic and travel disruptions in Karachi, including to and from the airport. The reference to avoid any movement is clearly seen in the light of Paksitan Tehrik Insaf (PTI) protest march in Karachi. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Sunday has announced to hold rally in Karachi’s Nishtar Park on September 6.

According to press release there is also increased potential for protests through the September 11th anniversary and Eid-ul-Azha holiday. U.S. citizens are reminded that even peaceful protests can become violent without warning. US citizens should also exercise caution in any location where Westerners gather, as well as any location where large crowds form. Employees of the U.S. Consulate will be subject to additional restrictions in the near term.

U.S. citizens are reminded that there is an active Travel Warning for Pakistan issued on April 7, 2016, and the Worldwide Caution, issued March 3, 2016. U.S. citizens are urged to defer all non-essential travel to Pakistan. The Mission reminds those U.S. citizens considering travel to or remaining in Pakistan despite this warning to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), keep a trusted friend informed of your movements in country, maintain vigilant situational awareness, avoid large crowds, keep a low profile, and avoid visiting locations frequented by Westerners. U.S. citizens in Pakistan are strongly urged to avoid hotels that do not apply stringent security measures.

Official U.S. Mission personnel and visitors are not allowed to use public transportation in Pakistan and are not authorized to stay overnight in hotels in Pakistan. U.S. citizens should exercise caution when traveling in the country, keeping in mind the high security threat level. Travelers are urged to vary their times and routes when traveling anywhere in Pakistan, and to avoid travel patterns to any such locations that might allow other persons to predict when and where they will be. U.S. citizens are further advised to verify that travel documents, visas, and residency documents remain valid and accessible at all times.

Consular services in Pakistan are available in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The consulate in Peshawar is not providing consular services at this time.

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