Monday, 10 December, 2018

U.S. issues new travel advisory to its citizens for Pakistan, India

El Arco in Cabo San Lucas U.S. issues new travel advisory to its citizens for Pakistan, India
Melinda Barton | 11 January, 2018, 09:29

The United States unveiled a travel advisory on Wednesday urging its citizens to reconsider their plans provided they were visiting Pakistan, citing multiple security-related issues. "Some areas have increased risk".

T - Terrorism: Terrorist attacks have occurred and/or specific threats against civilians, groups, or other targets may exist.

Ranking Pakistan on Level 3, the State Department asked Americans to reconsider travel to this country due to terrorism.

Major European allies like Britain, France and Germany are level two, "exercise increased caution", while authoritarian Uzbekistan gets Level One, "exercise usual precautions".

The advisory further states that travel by U.S. government personnel within Pakistan is restricted, and additional restrictions on movements by USA government personnel outside of USA diplomatic facilities may be put in place at any time, depending on local circumstances and security conditions. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, military and government installations, airports, universities, tourist locations, schools, hospitals, places of worship, and local government facilities.

"Terrorists have targeted USA diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past, and evidence suggests they continue to do so", the advisory explained.

Based on CNN's review of the published information eleven countries landed in Tier 4: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, the Central African Republic, Yemen.

The department changed some of the terminology a decade ago, but this is the first time it has completed an overhaul like this in "a very long time". The State Department warns that armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas of the state, and that members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and may use violence towards travelers.

Here's a link to the State Department's interactive map - click on the country to see its warning level. "These are not political documents".

Cuba, which a year ago came with the travel advisory to not travel there, is now listed as level 3. The State Department said that this is not a change from the Obama administration's recommendation.

Perennial US adversary Russian Federation was listed as a Tier 3 country, due to the risk of "terrorism and harassment".

Esponda said local officials and tourism operators are investing in increased security, including camera systems and the construction of a new marine base.

Bernier-Toth told reporters, "There is an investigation into what happened".