US State Department warning urges citizens to avoid Pakistan travel

Published: September 20, 2012

The warnings highlight protests and rallies being held across the country. PHOTO: QAZI USMAN / EXPRESS

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has issued a new travel warning, asking US citizens to delay all non-essential travel to Pakistan.

The warning comes in the light of the protests in Pakistan over the controversial film Innocence of Muslims.

Earlier this week, similar warnings against travel by US citizens to Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Sudan and Algeria had already been issued by the State Department.

The warnings highlight protests and political rallies against the US, NATO and its ISAF force, drone strikes, and Pakistan’s ongoing energy crisis.

Over the past week, there have been dozens of protests around Pakistan against the low-budget film Innocence of Muslims, killing at least two people. And for the first time on Thursday, protests in the capital turned violent.

Police fired tear gas and live rounds as the protesters, chanting “We are ready to die to safeguard the Prophet’s (pbuh) honour,” tried to break through a barrier of truck containers set up to block access to Islamabad’s heavily guarded diplomatic enclave.

The area is home to most Western embassies, including the US, British and French missions.

The crudely made film mocking Islam, has triggered protests in at least 20 countries since excerpts were posted online, and more than 30 people have been killed in violence linked to the clips.

Earlier this week, the US ordered non-essential diplomatic staff and their relatives to leave Sudan and Tunisia following violent anti-American protests sparked by the film.

The State Department has also updated its travel warnings for Algeria and Lebanon in the last week.

Reader Comments (13)

  • jism
    Sep 20, 2012 - 5:52PM

    US State Department warning urges citizens to avoid Pakistan travel
    and India just signed a new visa agreement to do exactly the opposite.

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  • jism
    Sep 20, 2012 - 6:37PM

    The crudely made film mocking Islam, has triggered protests in at least 20 countries since excerpts were posted online, and more than 30 people have been killed in violence linked to the clips
    a fool sitting thousands of miles away made a video (which should have been ignored by the people, if they were really peaceful to begin with) and posted it online, seeing this millions around the world went crazy and ended up killing there own people and destroying property worth millions in there own country.need i say more?

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  • mkz
    Sep 20, 2012 - 6:50PM

    How is this news? This has been on the website for ages

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  • Its (still) the EconomyStupid
    Sep 20, 2012 - 7:03PM

    Here goes the tourist, businessman and non resident Pakistani dollar that would have helped economy little bit. Protesters are helping Chiense economy as most of the American flags are made in China. Jay Leno said”If you hate us so much, how do you have a large supply of flags on hand?

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  • Tariq
    Sep 20, 2012 - 7:17PM

    Has it not been this way for a while now? Why issue fresh warnings? What happens to the previous ones ? How long are they in effect? How long is this warning until? If the warning is never withdrawn why publish a new one? If they are time bound perhaps newspapers like ET should also publish when they are withdrawn?

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  • Adolf Hitler
    Sep 20, 2012 - 8:56PM
  • Hasan
    Sep 20, 2012 - 9:01PM

    This is funny… and expected. India attracts close to 8 million tourists a year from all around the world, and we hardly 80. That too mostly disgruntled ambassadors forced to come here risking their lives or chinese businessmen buying local assets. Welcome to pakistan… but we are not sure if you can make it back safely.

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  • Critical
    Sep 20, 2012 - 9:21PM

    Who in their right mind would go anyway????

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  • Zalim Singh
    Sep 20, 2012 - 9:54PM

    why ban required? I guess nobody travels to Pakistan.

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  • Enlightened
    Sep 20, 2012 - 10:00PM

    A legitimate warning issued by US for its citizens. As a matter of fact Pakistan is no longer a safe country to live even for its own citizens.

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  • Jat
    Sep 20, 2012 - 11:44PM

    @Hasan: Situation is not that bad. Don’t think more than 50% will take the US warning seriously. Pakistan can still hope to get about 40 tourists this year.

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  • FU
    Sep 21, 2012 - 12:11AM

    Well for whom the warning is, as if people flock into Pakistan. Oh i mean the warning is for CIA agents i believe.

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  • g
    Sep 21, 2012 - 12:39AM

    and I was about to book my family vacation there

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