US asks citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Pakistan
The US Department of State on Wednesday asked American citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to Pakistan as "foreign and indigenous terrorist groups" in the country "continue to pose a danger to US citizens".
In a new travel advisory for Pakistan, the department urged American citizens to minimise the duration of trips to public markets and restaurants and to avoid gathering at any one location at any time if they choose to live or travel to Pakistan despite the warning.
"Pakistan continues to experience significant terrorist violence, including sectarian attacks... Throughout Pakistan, foreign and indigenous terrorist groups continue to pose a danger to US citizens," the latest advisory said.
"Evidence suggests that some victims of terrorist activity have been targeted because they are Americans. Terrorists and criminal groups have resorted to kidnapping for ransom," it added.
The US Department of State said travel by US government personnel within Pakistan was also restricted and their movement outside of Islamabad was "severely restricted".
US government personnel may not attend services at places of worship without prior approval or use public transportation or stay overnight at hotels in Pakistan, it added.