Foreign travel advice

Pakistan

Summary

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

The Pakistani authorities are investigating reports of planning for a potential terrorist attack at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad and have increased security at the airport. As a result you may encounter further security checks while using the airport. You should exercise caution, be extra vigilant and keep a low profile during this time.

On 23 February 2017, an explosion at a restaurant in the Defence Area (Z-Block) of Lahore caused multiple casualties. You should avoid the immediate area of the incident, be extra vigilant, and avoid all demonstrations, large crowds and public events.

There is some evidence to suggest that further attacks are being planned in areas of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Previous incidents have demonstrated the capacity to attack crowded areas. You should exercise caution and vigilance when visiting markets, restaurants, malls and other public areas.

On 13 February 2017, an explosion at a rally outside the Punjab assembly in Lahore caused mass casualties. Keep away from the immediate area of the incident for the time being and avoid all demonstrations, large crowds of people and public events.

While most protests in Pakistan are peaceful, they can turn violent quickly. You should avoid getting caught up in demonstrations, large crowds of people and public events.

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

There is a high threat from terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout Pakistan. There is a heightened threat of terrorist attacks, and kidnapping against western nationals in Pakistan. You should be particularly vigilant 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.

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.