Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 31 March 2016, 15:26 NZDT
  • Still current at: 27 April 2017

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Extreme Risk

There is extreme risk to your security in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas, Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), and border areas with India.  We advise against all travel to these areas due to the significant threat of terrorism, the risk of kidnapping and the unpredictable security situation.  Any New Zealanders currently in these areas are advised to depart. 

High Risk

There is high risk to your security elsewhere in Pakistan due to the threat of terrorism, the risk of kidnapping, potential for civil unrest and the unpredictable security situation and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel.  New Zealanders in Pakistan with concerns for their safety should consider leaving the country. 

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There is an ongoing and significant threat from terrorism throughout Pakistan.  While terrorist attacks frequently target Pakistani Government security and military personnel and institutions, Westerners and Western interests have also been targeted in the past.  

Sectarian violence is common in many parts of Pakistan and places of worship and religious sites associated with minority religious sects are at heightened risk of terrorist attack. The city of Karachi suffers from high levels of political, sectarian and criminal violence.  Strikes by religious and political parties have at times led to significant disruptions in the city and regularly result in violent civil unrest.  

Pakistan has suffered a significant number of terrorist attacks, causing many deaths. Suicide bombings, shootings and car bombs are common. Recent attacks include: 

  • On 27 March 2016, a bomb exploded at a public park in Lahore killing at least 70 people and injuring more than 200.
  • On 16 March 2016, a bomb detonated on a bus in Peshawar killed at least 16 people.
  • On 20 January 2016, terrorists attacked the Bacha Khan University near Peshawar killing at least 21 people.
  • On 13 December 2015, a bomb explosion in a Parachinar market killed 22 people and injured many more. 

Future terrorist attacks are likely, could be indiscriminate and could happen anywhere, at any time.  Potential targets could include public places and public gatherings, courts and government buildings, hotels, airports, markets, shopping malls, restaurants, educational institutions and religious sites.  Large cities such as Karachi and Peshawar are especially vulnerable to indiscriminate attacks.  

New Zealanders in Pakistan are advised to exercise extreme caution in public places, maintain very high levels of personal security awareness and take all possible security precautions to protect their safety. We recommend monitoring the media and local information sources for new information on potential threats to safety and security.  You should follow the advice of the local authorities and keep a low profile. 

There is a significant threat of kidnapping throughout Pakistan and foreigners are particularly at risk.  Foreign nationals have been kidnapped in the past and remained captive for long periods of time before being released. Others have been killed by their captors.  

New Zealanders in Pakistan are advised to seek professional security advice and ensure appropriate personal security measures are in place at all times.  Travel routes and times should be varied and the use of public transport should be avoided. 

Military action
The Pakistan military is conducting ongoing operations against militant groups within Pakistan, largely in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. We strongly advise against all travel to areas where there are reports of militant or military activity, as there is the potential for incidental harm resulting from violence directed towards others. 

New Zealanders in Pakistan should also be aware that any increase in violence between Pakistani security forces and militant groups or terrorists is likely to increase the possibility of reprisal terrorist attacks, which may not be limited to the geographic area of confrontation. 

Violent crime, including armed car-jacking and robbery, occurs in many parts of Pakistan, particularly in Karachi, Balochistan, rural Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. There is a high level of lawlessness in some of these areas. 

Avoid travel outside urban areas after dark. When travelling by car, it is advisable to keep doors locked and windows up at all times. Photo identification should be carried for presenting at police checkpoints.  

Civil unrest
The political situation in Pakistan remains unpredictable.  Demonstrations and civil disorder are common and can develop quickly.  

New Zealanders are advised to avoid all demonstrations, protests, political rallies and large public gatherings in Pakistan given the potential for these to turn violent with little warning. If you are in an area affected by demonstrations or violence, you should leave the area if it is safe to do so, or find a safe location, remain indoors and heed any local advice. 

General travel advice
As there is no New Zealand High Commission in Pakistan, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is limited. 

Access to certain areas of Pakistan may be restricted by authorities.  New Zealanders in Pakistan should be aware of, and adhere to any restrictions in place on travel. 

New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Pakistan to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour. 

New Zealanders in Pakistan should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. You should check that your travel insurance policy covers travel to Pakistan – exclusions may well apply. 

New Zealanders travelling or living in Pakistan are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand Embassy Tehran, Iran is accredited to Pakistan

Street Address No 1, Second Park Alley, Sousan Street, North Golestan Complex, Aghdasiyeh Street, Niavaran, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Telephone (+98 21) 2612 2175 Alternate Telephone 0044 207 6601157 (via London) Fax (+98 21) 2612 1973 and 0044 207 6601158 (via London) Email Web Site Hours Sun-Thurs 0830-1230, 1300-1500. Note Visa enquiries will only be responded to between 1000-1230

New Zealand Consulate-General Karachi, Pakistan

Street Address Suite 239, Glass Tower, 2 Ft 3, Adjacent to PSO House, Main Clifton Road, Karachi 75530. Telephone + 92 21 3565 6994 Fax + 92 21 3586 1852 Email

See our regional advice for South Asia

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Accredited New Zealand Embassy Iran

Street Address
No 1, Second Park Alley, Sousan Street, North Golestan Complex, Aghdasiyeh Street, Niavaran, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Telephone: (+98 21) 2612 2175

Alternate Telephone: 0044 207 6601157 (via London)

Fax: (+98 21) 2612 1973 and 0044 207 6601158 (via London)



Hours: Sun-Thurs 0830-1230, 1300-1500.

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