Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 21 July 2017, 11:45 NZST
  • Still current at: 20 August 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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Terrorism
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 23 June 2017, 75 people were killed and more than 150 wounded in an attack on a market in Parachinar.
  • On 5 April 2017, a bomb detonated in Lahore killed at least six people and wounded 18 others.
  • On 31 March 2017, a suicide car bomb detonated outside a Shia meeting place near a market in Parachinar. The attack killed 22 and injured over 100 others.
  • On 21 February 2017, 8 people were killed and 21 injured in an attack on the Charsadda court house in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
  • On 16 February 2017, a suicide-bomb attack on a Sufi shrine in Sehwan killed at least 88 people and injured more than 200 others.

Future terrorist attacks are expected, could be indiscriminate and could happen anywhere, at any time. Potential targets could include public places and public gatherings, courts and government buildings, hotels, transport hubs including airports, markets, shopping malls, restaurants, educational institutions, religious sites and other areas considered by militants as ‘un-Islamic’. Large cities such as Islamabad, 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.

Kidnapping
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.

There is a volatile security environment along the border with India. Foreigners are prohibited from travelling within 15 kilometres of the entire border area with India, including the Line of Control, except for official border crossings. We strongly advise against all travel to these areas.

Crime
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 nzembassytehran@hotmail.co.nz Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/iran 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 nzcgpk@fudda.org

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)

Email: nzembassytehran@hotmail.co.nz

Website: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/iran

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

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