Reconsider travel: United States updates advisory for its citizens headed to Pakistan

Tour India with ‘increased caution’ says new US travel advisory

Raveendran AFP

― Malay Mail picKUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 ― In a new travel advisory issued by the United States, Malaysia is now placed in Level One or the lowest level for safety and security risks among other countries like Canada and Australia.

The advisory informed it's citizens that rape was the fastest growing crime in India. Some people would have no second thoughts of traveling to Iran, for example, which is rated Level 4.

The advisory further states that travel by USA government personnel within Pakistan is restricted, and additional restrictions on movements by U.S. government personnel outside of U.S. diplomatic facilities may be put in place at any time, depending on local circumstances and security conditions.

"Will issue an overall travel advisory level for every country, levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country" the state department said.

In the United Kingdom's latest travel advisory issued on January 5 about India, it said, "The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at Wagah".

The State Department had on Wednesday launched improvements on sharing information with USA travelers to provide clear, timely and reliable safety and security information. For a time, in October, the State Department had warned USA citizens not to travel to Cuba because of mysterious health attacks suffered by several US diplomatic employees living in Havana.

Americans are also advised not to travel to Pakistan administered Kashmir due to terrorism and the potential for armed conflict.

The new travel system ranks Pakistan on Level 3 titled as "Reconsider Travel".

The Naxalites have conducted frequent terrorist attacks on local police, paramilitary forces, and government officials, it added. Turkey, Russia and Venezuela are considered level 3. "In the past, there have been large-scale terrorist attacks resulting in hundreds of casualties", highlighted the federal executive department.

The standard jargon at the State Department's website (travel.state.gov) used to be a "warning" - something serious that would suggest extra caution (and sometimes more) - or an "alert", which often was a red flag, sometimes temporary, telling travelers about, say, an election or the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Levels Three and Four we review every six months just as we did Travel Warnings.

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