Pakistan is an unconventional but still popular destination for adventurous travelers from around the world. With its stunning mountain ranges and beautiful valleys, along with interesting cuisine and friendly people, Pakistan makes for a rewarding travel destination. However, travel to the country is not without its risks. A recent terrorist incident in the country has brought attention to Pakistan and governments, including the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have issued fresh travel guidance for foreigners.
On 18th June terrorists targeted foreign tourists climbing mountains in the Nanaga Parbat base camp area of Gilgit-Baltistan, killing the travelers. This attack is seen as unprecedented in the area but it highlights the risk of terrorism and the threat of kidnap throughout Pakistan.
The FCO advises against travel to certain parts of Pakistan, including the Federally Administered Tribal Areas; Peshawar and travel on the Peshawar to Chitral road along the Lowari Pass; north and west Balochistan; the Karakoram Highway between Islamabad and Gilgit, and Charsadda, Bannu, Lakki, Buner, Kohat, Tank, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, and Lower Dir regions. Other areas of the country have an ‘all but essential travel’ warning in place. These include Quetta, Nawabshah, the Bamoboret Valley, the Kalesh Valley, and Arandu District close to Chitral.
There has been an increase in protests and in political activity in Pakistan following the 2013 elections and the political situation could cause problems for travelers. However, it is worth remembering that thousands of foreigners visit Pakistan every year and have no problems. The country remains an intriguing destination and visitors with good quality travel insurance can usually expect to enjoy a positive vacation or adventure trip. If you are planning on traveling in the mountains in Pakistan make sure your travel insurance covers you for high altitude climbing, and also includes emergency medical evacuation cover.