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Denmark, UK issue travel advisories against Pak travel due to rising terror attacks

Denmark has issued a travel advisory cautioning its citizens to travel to Pakistan only if they have special reasons to visit as the country is unsafe and prone to terrorist attacks.

“There is a risk of terrorist attacks, kidnappings and violent disturbances throughout the country. Risks are so serious that you should have very special reasons to visit the country,” said the Danish foreign ministry. “There is a high risk of terrorist attacks in Pakistan.”

The advisory from the European economic power and a key provider of global aid echoes concerns that India has been expressing for decades and comes as a challenge to the new regime in Islamabad, making it incumbent upon the Imran Khan government to improve Pakistan’s international image by taking decisive steps on terrorism.

“You should be very careful when travelling in Pakistan…. We discourage all unnecessary trips to the provinces of Punjab and Sindh. Visit only Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi if you use reputable and well-established, local tour operators. We discourage all unnecessary travel to Islamabad and to Gilgit-Baltistan. Due to the very high security risk, we deny all travel in the provinces of Baluchistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), including traffic on the Karakoram road from Islamabad to Gilgit-Baltistan,” read the strongly worded travel advisory.

“There have been a number of serious terrorist attacks in recent years. They have focused in particular on non-Western targets, not least against police and military, but also against, for example, schools and religious places... Terrorist attacks are taking place in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), in the tribulations against the border with Afghanistan (FATA) and in Balochistan. Attacks could take place against security authorities, religious gatherings and places visited by westerners. Western targets, especially with American interests, are exposed to an increased risk,” the Danish foreign ministry warned.

The ministry also warned against kidnappings. “There is a high risk of kidnapping in Pakistan, especially in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), FATA and Balochistan,” it said.

Denmark has conveyed to Pakistan that the travel advisory was made in unison with the rest of the Nordic countries. It seems that the travel advisory was issued on the advice of Embassy of Denmark in Islamabad, said a person familiar with Denmark’s decision-making process, and it appears that the Danish government will not change its travel advisory for Pakistan in the near future.

Besides Denmark, UK also issued a travel advisory for Pakistan few weeks back. “Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Pakistan. There’s a high threat of terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout the country, including the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. You should be vigilant, avoid all crowds, public events, political gatherings, religious processions and sporting events, and take appropriate security precautions…Foreigners, in particular westerners, may be directly targeted,” read travel advisory issued by the British government.

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