FO welcomes US easing travel restrictions for Pakistan

US State Department upgrades Pakistan's travel advisory from 'no travel' to 'avoid unnecessary travels'

Our Correpondent August 07, 2021

Pakistan on Saturday welcomed the recent revision of the US travel advisory for the country which has been upgraded to level-3 from level-4.

In its latest advisory, the US State Department upgraded Pakistan's travel advisory from "no travel" to "avoid unnecessary travels".

"Pakistan’s security environment has improved since 2014 when Pakistani security forces undertook concerted counter terrorist and counter militant operations," the advisory read.

Read more: Pakistan, US need to work ‘more closely’ amid worsening Afghan security: NSA

"There are greater security resources and infrastructure in the major cities, particularly Islamabad, and security forces in these areas may be more readily able to respond to an emergency compared to other areas of the country."

The State Department acknowledged that terrorist attacks are "rare" in Islamabad. However, it added that the threats still exist.

It urged the citizens not to travel to Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), and erstwhile FATA, to avoid terror attacks and kidnapping.

Furthermore, it also recommended against travelling to Line of Control (LoC) due to potential armed conflict.

Also read: NSA, DG ISI leave for crucial US trip

“We have noted the recent revision which has upgraded Pakistan to Level-3," Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said in a statement.

He termed the US decision a step in the right direction, adding that it acknowledges the improvement of the security environment in Pakistan and the effective handling of the Covid-19 pandemic by the government.

"We will continue to work with the US government on this issue to ensure further rationalisation and improvement of travel advisory on Pakistan," he further said.

Meanwhile, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level-2 travel health notice for Pakistan, indicating a "moderate level" of the coronavirus.

"While government-reported case counts have declined from the recent peak at the end of April, Covid-19 transmission continues throughout the country and very few Pakistanis are vaccinated," the notice said, adding that hospital beds and supplies of oxygen appear to be available in most parts of the country.

“Your risk of contracting Covid-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with a US-authorised vaccine.”

It said that the Pakistani federal government has eased Covid-19 restrictions, and schools, restaurants, and gyms have reopened in most parts of Pakistan, with fewer restrictions for vaccinated individuals.


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