The United States has advised its citizens to be cautious during the upcoming general elections in Pakistan on Thursday. The US State Department issued a travel advisory, expressing concerns about potential disruptions and safety issues related to political events leading up to the election day, such as marches, rallies, and speeches.
The advisory highlighted that public gatherings are important for democracy but can also cause traffic problems, transportation disruptions, and safety risks, as they have been targeted for violence in the past. US citizens planning to visit Pakistan were urged to stay informed about political events in their areas and avoid crowded places near polling stations on election day.
The advisory also mentioned potential disruptions to internet and cellular services during the election period. The US State Department provided specific recommendations, including avoiding large public gatherings, being cautious near demonstrations, reviewing personal security plans, and staying updated through local media.
US citizens were encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (Step) for security updates, with additional information available on the US Embassy’s official website. The State Department emphasized its commitment to providing timely information and support to American citizens in the region, urging them to stay informed and take necessary precautions for their safety during the heightened political activity.
For assistance, US citizens in Pakistan can contact the US Embassy in Islamabad and the US Consulate Generals in Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar, as well as the State Department’s Consular Affairs in Washington.