Last updated: 24 November 2014
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
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
There is a high threat from terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout Pakistan.
On 2 November a suicide bomb attack at the Wagah border crossing near Lahore caused multiple casualties. The border crossing remains open, but there may be increased security measures and delays.
The month of Muharram, which ends on 22 November, includes a number of important religious anniversaries, often marked by processions. This includes the festival of Ashura on 4 November which will be marked by processions in many cities. While most events remain peaceful, there has been violence during Ashura processions in the past. The Pakistan authorities have prepared security plans for policing these events and you should follow their instructions and guidance.
Political demonstrations have been taking place since August. The only permanent protest site is the Parade Area close to the Parliament buildings in Islamabad but demonstrations are planned in other major cities as well. You should avoid demonstrations or large gatherings as they may turn into confrontation or violence.
The Pakistan military are intermittently taking action against militant groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Security forces across Pakistan remain on high alert for possible attacks. There may be increases in security force presence, and restrictions on movement may be put in place at short notice.
In response to the World Health Organisation’s emergency recommendations about the spread of polio virus, the government of Pakistan now requires all departing travellers who have spent more than 4 weeks in Pakistan to produce a valid vaccination certificate at the time of their departure. This certificate should show that either Oral Polio Vaccine or Inactivated Polio Vaccine has been administered between 4 weeks and 12 months before departure from Pakistan. See this advice issued by the National Travel Health Network and Centre about protection from the polio virus.
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.
Around 270,000 British nationals visit Pakistan every year. Most visits are trouble-free.