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
On 14 August Pakistan celebrates Independence Day. Large public celebrations are expected on and around this date. Terrorists have attacked large gatherings in Pakistan in the recent past. National and provincial elections took place on 25 July 2018. Terrorist attacks on political rallies in the run-up, and on polling stations on election day, killed over 200 people. It’s possible that there may be further violence in the aftermath of the polls. You should remain vigilant and avoid demonstrations, large crowds of people and public events.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Pakistan. There’s a high threat of terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout the country, including the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. You should be vigilant, avoid all crowds, public events, political gatherings, religious processions and sporting events, 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. See Terrorism
During holy periods/religious holidays, there’s an increased risk of targeted attacks, including on western interests and religious minorities. On 17 December 2017, an attack at the Bethel Memorial Methodist church in Quetta killed nine and injured over 50 people. It’s possible that further Christian gatherings will be targeted in this way.
In early August, militants attacked a number of schools, including over a dozen schools in the Chilas, Darel and Tangir areas of Daimer District, Gilgit Baltistan. In security operations that followed, 2 militants were killed and over 30 arrested. Further attacks on schools and security operations in response are possible. You should seek and follow the advice of the local authorities.
There have been a number of recent terrorist attacks in Lahore. At the present time, you should exercise caution travelling to and around Lahore. Busy public places and events are often targeted, including public transport, major international hotels, the airport, parks, shopping malls and religious sites. Government, military and law enforcement facilities are also targeted. See Terrorism for more information.
On 14 March 2018, an explosion at the Nisar police check post near Raiwand on the southern outskirts of Lahore, close to the Tableeghi (Jamait e Islami) religious centre, caused numerous fatalities and multiple injuries.
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
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.