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Reviewed: 26 August 2013, 12:38 NZDT
Still current at: 05 December 2013
There is extreme risk to your security in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas, Baluchistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), and border areas with Afghanistan and India. We advise against all travel to these areas due to the significant threat from terrorism, risk of kidnapping and the unpredictable security situation. Any New Zealanders currently in these areas are advised to depart.
There is high risk to your security elsewhere in Pakistan due to the threat from terrorism and risk of kidnapping and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel. Any New Zealanders in Pakistan with concerns for their safety should consider leaving the country.
There is a very high threat from terrorism throughout Pakistan. While most terrorist attacks target Pakistani Government security and military personnel and institutions, Westerners and Western interests have also been targeted in the past. Future terrorist attacks are likely and could happen any where at anytime.
New Zealanders in Pakistan are advised to exercise extreme caution in public places, maintain very high levels of personal security awareness and take all possible security precautions to protect their safety.We recommend monitoring the media and local information sources for new information on potential threats to safety and security. You should follow the advice of the local authorities and keep a low profile.
Sectarian violence is common in many parts of Pakistan and places of worship and religious sites associated with minority religious sects are at a heightened risk of terrorist attack.
Recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan:
On 11 July 2013, a bomb exploded near a Shia mosque in northwest Pakistan killing two people and injuring six others.
On 7 July 2013, a bomb blast in a food street in the Anarkali area of Lahore killed three people and injured dozens of others.
On 22 June 2013, ten foreign tourists were shot and killed at the Nanga Parbat base camp area in Gilgit-Baltistan.
On 4 March 2013, a suicide bombing killed over 50 people and injured over 150 others at a Shia mosque in Karachi.
Kidnapping is a significant threat throughout Pakistan and foreigners are particularly at risk. Foreign nationals have been kidnapped in the past and remained captive for long periods of time before being released, but others have been killed by their captors. New Zealanders in Pakistan are advised to seek professional security advice and ensure appropriate personal security measures are in place at all times. Travel routes and times should be varied and public transport should not be used.
The Pakistan military sometimes conducts operations against militant groups within Pakistan. We strongly advise against all travel to areas where there are reports of militant or military activity, as there is the potential for incidental harm resulting from violence directed towards others.
New Zealanders in Pakistan should also be aware that any increase in violence between the Pakistani security forces and militant groups or terrorists is likely to increase the possibility of reprisal terrorist attacks, which may not be limited to the geographic area of confrontation.
Violent crime, including armed car-jacking and robbery, occurs in many parts of Pakistan, particularly in Karachi, Balochistan, rural Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. When travelling by car, it is advisable to keep doors locked and windows up at all times. Photo identification should be carried for presenting at police checkpoints.
New Zealanders are advised to avoid all demonstrations, protests, political rallies and large public gatherings in Pakistan as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning. If you are in an area affected by demonstrations or violence, you should leave the area if it is safe to do so, or find a safe location, remain indoors and heed any local advice.
General travel advice
As there is no New Zealand High Commission in Pakistan, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is limited.
New Zealanders in Pakistan should be aware of, and adhere to any restrictions in place on travel to certain areas of Pakistan.
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Pakistan to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour. During the holy month of Ramadan, New Zealanders travelling to Muslim countries, including Pakistan, should show respect and pay attention to religious and cultural sensitivities. New Zealanders should refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public view during the daytime.
New Zealanders in Pakistan should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. You should check that your travel insurance policy covers travel to Pakistan – exclusions may well apply.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Pakistan are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
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