KARACHI: Just a day after the US embassy stopped its staff from visiting Islamabad’s Marriott Hotel due to fears of an attack, a few other countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom have also advised their citizens to restrict their movement in Pakistan.
In a security alert, Saudi Arabia’s embassy advised incoming Saudi residents and those in Pakistan to remain “careful and limit their movement” amid the rising terror threat. They have been asked to “be cautious” and not venture out except for any necessity. “Security of Islamabad has been placed at the highest level,” the alert said, adding that Saudis should contact the embassy and consulate if the need arises.
Also, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advised against all travel to Peshawar and various districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on section of the N35 (or Karakoram Highway) between the Mansehra ring road and the N15/N35 Chilas interchange, N45 Road from the north of the Mardan ring-road to the edge of the district of Chitral, within 10 miles of the Line of Control and Balochistan province, excluding its southern coast.
Similarly, Australia also shared a travel advice, asking citizens not to travel to Balochistan and KP, except Chitral, due to poor security situation and high risk of kidnapping. Its citizens have also been advised against travelling to border areas with Afghanistan and India (excluding Lahore, Wagah, Kasur, Narowal and Sialkot) due to the volatile security situation.
The advisory also suggested potential travellers to Pakistan “reconsider” their decision due to the “volatile security situation and high threat of terrorist attack, kidnapping and violence”.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on Monday reiterated their mutual commitment to further enhance and deepen bilateral cooperation in all areas of mutual interest, APP reported.
The FM, during a telephonic conversation with Prince Faisal, thanked the leadership of Saudi Arabia for valuable flood relief assistance to Pakistan, the FO spokesperson said in a statement.
Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2022