- General Info
- Health Risks
- Security Concerns
- Weather Notes
- Electrical Standards
- Visa Info
- Time Zone
The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with two sections West and East) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved. A third war between these countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan seceding and becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. A dispute over the state of Kashmir is ongoing. In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in 1998.
Source: CIA World Factbook
Food and waterborne diseases are the number one cause of illness in travelers. Travelers diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout the region and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.
Malaria is a serious, but preventable infection that can be fatal. Your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including cities. Prevent this deadly disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites.
Travelers to malaria-risk areas, including infants, children, and former residents of the Indian Subcontinent, should take an antimalarial drug. NOTE: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in the Indian Subcontinent and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.
Dengue, filariasis, Japanese encephalitis, leishmaniasis, and plague are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.
If you visit the Himalayan Mountains, ascend gradually to allow time for your body to adjust to the high altitude, which can cause insomnia, headaches, nausea, and altitude sickness. In addition, use sunblock rated at least 15 SPF, because the risk of sunburn is greater at high altitudes.
Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid travel at night if possible and always use seat belts.
There is no risk for yellow fever in the Indian Subcontinent. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain of these countries if you are coming from countries in South America or sub-Saharan Africa. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.
CDC recommends the following vaccines (as appropriate for age):
See your doctor at least 46 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
- Hepatitis B, if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months, or be exposed through medical treatment.
- Japanese encephalitis, only if you plan to visit rural areas for 4 weeks or more, except under special circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.
- Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.
- typhoid vaccination is particularly important because of the presence of S. typhi strains resistant to multiple antibiotics in this region. There have been recent reports of typhoid drug resistance in India and Nepal.
- As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles, and a one-time dose of polio for adults. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 1112 years who did not receive the series as infants.
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by BOTH filtering through an absolute 1-micron or less filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. Absolute 1-micron filters are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
- Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
- If you are going to visit areas where there is risk for malaria, take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your doctor for a prescription.)
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
- Pay special attention to mosquito protection between dusk and dawn. This is when the type of mosquito whose bite transmits malaria is active.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use insect repellents that contain DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide).
- Read and follow the directions and precautions on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin.
- Do not put repellent on wounds or broken skin.
- Do not breathe in, swallow, or get into the eyes (DEET is toxic if swallowed). If using a spray product, apply DEET to your face by spraying your hands and rubbing the product carefully over the face, avoiding eyes and mouth.
- Unless you are staying in air-conditioned or well-screened housing, purchase a bed net impregnated with the insecticide permethrin or deltamethrin. Or, spray the bed net with one of these insecticides if you are unable to find a pretreated bed net.
- DEET may be used on adults, children, and infants older than 2 months of age. Protect infants by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
- Children under 10 years old should not apply insect repellent themselves. Do not apply to young children’s hands or around eyes and mouth.
- To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.
- Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
SAFETY AND SECURITY/AREAS OF INSTABILITY: Sectarian and separatist terrorists within Pakistan continue to target American and other Western interests, as well as those of certain indigenous groups. Bombings and assassinations continue to occur throughout Pakistan. For example, two Americans were killed and several more were injured in a bombing at an Islamabad church frequented by Westerners on March 17, 2002 and an American news reporter was kidnapped and killed in Karachi in January 2002. The U.S. Consulate General in Karachi sustained attacks in June 2002 and February 2003. There is evidence of a potential threat to American citizens and other westerners in Pakistan from terrorists posing as street vendors or beggars on busy streets. Americans are urged to avoid congested areas where these individuals could approach their vehicles. Rallies, demonstrations and processions occur from time to time throughout Pakistan on very short notice and have often taken on an anti-American or anti-Western character. Karachi and the southern parts of Punjab province have experienced protracted political or sectarian violence that poses a potential danger to American travelers. During the Islamic religious observance of Moharram, sectarian rivalry and violence often increase. Family feuds are frequently fatal and may be followed by retaliation. Women do not walk out alone and it is not wise to travel in the streets late at night. Travelers to Pakistan should attempt to maintain a low profile, blend in, and seek security in the traveler's family or sponsoring organization.
Updated information on travel and security in Pakistan may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and from overseas, 1-317-472-2328. For the latest security information, Americans abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet website at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings including the current warning for Pakistan, and Public Announcements can be found.
Northern Areas - Visitors wishing to trek in Gilgit, Hunza, Chitral and the upper Swat valley should use only licensed guides and tourist agencies. There have been occasional assaults.
Northwest Frontier Province - The Government of Pakistan requires all citizens of countries other than Pakistan and Afghanistan to obtain permission from the Home and Tribal Affairs Department prior to visiting these tribal areas, which lie outside the normal jurisdiction of the Government of Pakistan. Substantial areas within the Northwest Frontier Province are designated tribal areas and are outside the normal jurisdiction of government law enforcement authorities. If visitors must enter the tribal areas, a permit from the Home and Tribal Affairs Department is required. The permit may stipulate that an armed escort must accompany the visitor. Even in the settled areas of the Northwest Frontier Province, there is occasional ethnic, sectarian, and political violence as well as anti-foreign rhetoric; foreigners should avoid demonstrations and areas in which violence is known to occur.
Kashmir: Military operations continue along the Line of Control in Kashmir and military exchanges between Pakistani and Indian forces often result in deaths and injuries on both sides. A number of militant and terrorist groups, some of which are anti-American and have attacked Americans and other Westerners, are active in the area. Many areas are restricted. Americans planning travel in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir should contact the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad prior to travel in the area and ensure that they have taken appropriate security precautions. However, we recommend that Americans particularly defer travel to Kashmir and the Pakistan/India border areas at this time. The Wagah border crossing into India near Lahore remains open (from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm) for travel to and from India if the passport holder has a valid visa for both countries. Travelers are advised to confirm the current status of the border crossing prior to commencing travel.
Punjab Province - Sectarian violence decreased considerably in recent years, although there continue to be isolated attacks on places of worship of all faiths. Christian churches, particularly in Punjab, have been targeted; two Americans were killed and several more were injured in a bombing at an Islamabad church frequented by Westerners on March 17, 2002, 3 people were killed in Daska on Christmas Day, 2002, and 17 were killed in Bahawalpur in October, 2001. As a precaution against possible dangers resulting from sectarian violence, U.S. citizens are cautioned to avoid public transportation and crowded areas.
Sindh Province - In the areas of Karachi and Hyderabad there has been recurring violence characterized by random bombings and shootings as well as several incidents of kidnapping for ransom. Americans and other Westerners continue to be the target of violence. In January 2002, a U.S. news reporter was kidnapped and murdered. Karachi has been the site of several recent high-profile terrorist attacks, including a car-bomb attack against a bus near the Sheraton Hotel in May 2002, and another car-bomb attack against the U.S. Consulate General in June 2002. In February 2003, the Consulate General was attacked by a lone gunman wielding an AK-47. In May 2003,Pakistani security disrupted terrorist plans to launch an aerial attack on the U.S. Consulate in Karachi. Additionally, there have been many protests against U.S. foreign policy. In several instances, crowds at these protests reached approximately 100,000 people. Due to security concerns, the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi closed its public operations indefinitely. See Section on Registration/Embassy and Consulate Location regarding how to contact that office for emergency assistance.
In rural Sindh Province, the security situation is hazardous, especially overland travel. The Government of Pakistan recommends that travelers limit their movements in Sindh Province to the city of Karachi. If visitors must go into the interior of Sindh Province, the Government of Pakistan requests that travelers inform police authorities well in advance of the trip so that necessary police security arrangements can be made.
Baluchistan Province - The province of Baluchistan, which borders both Iran and Afghanistan, is notorious for cross-border smuggling and has more recently been infiltrated by former members of the Taliban and Al Qaida operatives. Armed battles between clans are frequent. Because the provincial police presence is limited, travelers wishing to visit the interior of Baluchistan should consult with the province’s Home Secretary. Advance permission from provincial authorities is required for travel into some areas. Local authorities have detained travelers who lack permission. Quetta, the provincial capital, has experienced serious ethnic violence that has led to gun battles in the streets and the imposition of curfews.
Returning Americans of Afghan origin are sometimes targets for harassment or extortion by the local populace and even by police, local immigration and customs officials, especially if they do not have a well-established family structure in Pakistan.
CRIME: Crime is a serious concern for foreigners throughout Pakistan, with violent crime increasing faster than any other category. Carjackings, armed robberies, house invasions and other violence against civilians have increased steadily in the major urban areas. Petty crime, especially theft of personal property, is common throughout Pakistan. Lahore and Karachi, in particular, experience high levels of crime. They are large cities beset by poverty, high unemployment, and underpaid, under-manned police forces.
American travelers to Pakistan are strongly advised to avoid traveling by taxis and other forms of public transportation from the airport to their destinations, and vice versa. Americans are also urged to be met at the airport by members of their host organizations or families.
The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should be reported immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Pakistan for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds can be transferred. Although the investigation of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.
U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlets are available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
Source: U.S. Department of State
mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north
Source: CIA World Factbook
Pakistan's electrical current is 230/50 (volts/hz) and uses the plug adaptors listed to the right under Related Items. Many North American appliances are designed to operate only within the 100-125 volt range. These appliances will suffer damage if plugged into 220-250 volts without the proper transformer or converter.
To determine which plug adaptors you'll need and if you'll require a transformer or converter, use our Electrical Connection Wizard.
For a detailed discussion of international electrical standards, see our related article on Electrical and Phone Adaptation.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: All U.S. citizens traveling to Pakistan for any purpose are required to have valid U.S. passports and Pakistani-issued visas. Other information on entry requirements can be obtained from the Embassy of Pakistan, 2315 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC, 20008, telephone (202)939-6295 or 6261, Internet home page: http://www.embassyofpakistan.org/. Travelers may also contact one of the Consulates General of Pakistan located at 12 East 65th St., New York, NY 10021, telephone (212)879-5800, fax (212)517-6987, or 10850 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1100, Los Angeles, CA 90024, telephone (310)441-5114, fax (310)441-9256. If a traveler plans to stay longer than the time listed on the visa, he or she must extend the stay with the local passport office of the Ministry of Interior.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child’s travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.
Source: U.S. Department of State
The time zone for Pakistan is 5 hours offset from GMT, which means that if it is 12:00 noon in New York, the time in Pakistan would be 10:00 pm
The unit of currency in Pakistan is the Pakistani rupee (PKR).
Look up the current exchange rate using XE.com's Universal Currency Converter
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Other Travelers' Experiences in Pakistan
"ten years back the condition of fax and modem was very bad in pakistan . but today it is at its peak now .many western companies ae investing in this field . for example telenor, warid , china mobile these all are western companies"
- shahbaz omer, , FL,