Security Message for U.S. Citizens
August 8, 2012
This security message alerts U.S. citizens to the continued potential danger to U.S. citizens posed by the presence of al-Qaida, Taliban elements, and indigenous militant sectarian groups in Pakistan. Threat reporting indicates these groups continue to seek opportunities to attack U.S. Mission personnel, U.S. citizens and other westerners especially at locations where they are known to congregate.
Terrorists may wish to take advantage of the upcoming Pakistan Independence Day celebrations (August 13 and 14) and Eid-ul-Fitr (approximately August 19, 20 and 21) to initiate attacks. Therefore, it is especially important that U.S. citizens and U.S. Embassy personnel continue to maintain good situational awareness, avoid crowds and public places, and keep a low profile during this time.
The following guidance is provided to you relative to each of these events.
Pakistan Independence Day Celebrations
Tuesday, August 14, 2012, is Pakistan’s Independence Day. Beginning Monday evening there will be a significant increase in pedestrian activity and traffic congestion throughout Islamabad and the surrounding areas. You should limit your movement within Islamabad and Rawalpindi due to this traffic congestion. The U.S. Embassy highly recommends that its personnel avoid markets and any unnecessary travel within the city starting Monday, August 13 (beginning on or about 17:00) through Tuesday, August 14.
On Tuesday morning there will be a 21-Gun salute, followed by a two-minute traffic halt at approximately 0758 hours as the national anthem is played. If possible, please avoid being on the road at this time.
If you must travel, please use extreme caution and avoid large crowds when traveling throughout Islamabad and along roads such as Constitution and Jinnah Avenues, Old University Road that passes in front of the Serena Hotel, Murree Road, and Islamabad Highway.
All markets and public places including Jinnah, Kohsar markets and the Blue Area will be extremely crowded. Due to celebrations beginning early Monday evening, the U.S. Embassy recommends avoiding all public places beginning Monday at 1700 hrs.
Due to large crowds and significant traffic congestion, restaurants in Margalla Hills to include Daman-e-Koh, Monal, and Pir Sawaha, and Said Pur should not be frequented on Monday or Tuesday.
Travel to Murree, Taxila, and Khewra Salt mines is not recommended.
Eid-ul-Fitr is expected to begin on August 19, 2012, and continue to August 21, 2012. Traditionally, the evening prior to Eid-ul-Fitr results in a significant increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic in Islamabad. Residents are known to set off fire-crackers at this time after the sighting of the moon and the final declaration of the end of Ramazan.
Consistent with guidance for Pakistan Independence Day, please limit your movements in the city and avoid crowds and public places during the three days of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Updated Information on Travel and Security
Updated information on travel and security in Pakistan may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). For further information, please consult the Travel Warning for Pakistan and the Country Specific Information for Pakistan, as well as the Worldwide Caution. You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which also contains current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.
U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Pakistan are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you enroll we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements and can also help your family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
To view emergency services to U.S. citizens in the different consular districts, please click on the links below:
- Islamabad: http://islamabad.usembassy.gov/pakistan/citizen_services/warden.html
- Karachi: http://karachi.usconsulate.gov/acs_emergency_servcies.html
- Lahore: http://lahore.usconsulate.gov/lahore/citizen_services.html
- Peshawar: http://peshawar.usconsulate.gov/citizen_services.html
Contact Information follows for all U.S. Mission to Pakistan Posts
The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is located at Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5; telephone (92-51) 208-0000; Consular Section telephone (92-51) 208-2700; fax (92-51) 282-2632; e-mail address: ACSIslamabad@state.gov.
U.S. Consulate General Karachi, located at Plot No 3-5, TPX Area, Mai Kolachi Road, Karachi, provides services to U.S. citizens by appointment only. Services can be scheduled by calling (92-21) 3527-5000 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Monday-Friday; fax (92-21) 3527-5885; website: http://karachi.usconsulate.gov/; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. Consulate General in Lahore is located at 50- Sharah-E-Abdul Hameed Bin Badees, (Old Empress Road) near Shimla Hill Rotary; telephone (92-42) 3603-4000 or 3603-4250; fax (92-42) 3603-4200; e-mail address: email@example.com.
The U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar is located at 11 Hospital Road, Cantonment, Peshawar; telephone (92-91) 526-8800; fax (92-91) 527-6712.