If you are a US citizen and plan to travel to Pakistan, you must prepare yourself for certain things before starting your trip. Mostly, traveling to Pakistan brings you a good experience, but sometimes you can be subject to unprecedented occurrences. Therefore, you should read all the gathered information below to have a general idea about how things work in Pakistan and how you should respond to certain situations.
Pakistan has lifted lockdown orders and resumed the mass transit services and intercity domestic travel activities in most cities. However, it can reinforce all the travel restrictions, business closures, and stay-at-home orders anytime, depending upon the Covid cases.
You should not travel:
As a responsible US citizen, you should:
Note down the following points before you depart.
There are no restrictions on the currency you bring to Pakistan but, it can not be more than $10,000 when you exit the state.
You should obtain your visa at the Pakistani Embassy Consular Office before traveling to Pakistan. The US embassy in Pakistan cannot help you with Pakistani visa problems.
If you are a US government employee or immediate family member, you need to follow the proper procedures for an official or personal visit to Pakistan.
Dual nationals holding both Pakistan and US citizenship may need to present some extra documents.
Despite the heightened security measures taken by the government, the terrorist attacks are still there. Terrorists have a history of targeting public buildings with no exception to government facilities, schools, shrines, etc. Crowded gatherings, political rallies, demonstrations, religious gatherings have the potential of confrontation with security forces.
US citizens should therefore avoid such gatherings. In such incidents, Pakistan’s government has also jammed the cellular networks and internet in the past, making it difficult to contact each other.
If you encounter assault, flee to a safe area and inform the police via dialing 15. You can also physically report the incident at the police station.
If you are subject to domestic violence, report at the US embassies in Karachi and Lahore.
There is no proper regulation of the tourism industry. Hazardous areas do not come with appropriate signage.
Men and women both should wear full dresses with covered legs and arms. Don’t walk alone, especially at night.
Crime is common in Pakistan, including fraud, theft, robbery, carjacking, assault, and burglary.
US citizen victims of crime should first report the case to the police and then contact the US embassy. Police from different areas have different responsiveness to the crime. The crimes often go unprosecuted.
Local authorities may recognize a Dual US-Pakistani national as a Pakistani citizen.
There are cases when Pakistani families make US citizens subject to domestic violence, sexual harassment, verbal abuse, confiscation of passports, and forced marriages. Restricting the freedom of movement is also reported. Local police do not consistently report such cases. Nevertheless, if you face a life-threatening situation, you should call the police immediately and follow up with a call to the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
When you are in Pakistan, you are subject to its local laws. If you violate the law, you may be detained, arrested, or expelled.
If you get arrested by Pakistani local police in any case, you should ask them to inform the US embassy immediately so that the US government can analyze your case from scratch and check if it can assist. Usually, the Pakistani law enforcement authorities do not notify the US embassy if the US citizen is under arrest unless they are requested.
You can transact goods by cash in Pakistan. Credit cards are accepted only in major cities.
There are bank branches, registered currency exchangers, and ATMs in all international airports.
There have been reports from US citizens when their family tricked their Pakistani Heritage by pushing them into a forced marriage. Then, the victim passes through physical and emotional abuse. The family confiscates their belongings, including passports. Report such cases to US officials as they might help to replace the stolen travel document.
All US citizens should keep their travel documents in their personal possession.
Dispute over land leading to crime is common in Pakistan and is often difficult to resolve legally. The US embassy can not ensure the safety of your personal property in Pakistan.
It can not take sides in any legal dispute as well.
There are no proper public facilities for the individual with physical disabilities in major cities, often the family and society cares for them.
Mostly, families care for individuals with physical and mental disabilities.
Outside major cities, such facilities are non-existent.
There have been reported cases in which US citizens lost their lives while climbing the Karakoram mountain range, where rescue operations are difficult or impossible. The cost for emergency rescues starts at $15,000. To start the rescue mission, you need to pay the amount.
Basic medical facilities are available in major cities of Pakistan but are limited in rural areas. The health facilities are generally below US standards.
Road conditions vary according to different locations in Pakistan, but generally, they differ from those in the United States. You may find poor road conditions even in the major cities of Pakistan.
Traffic moves on the left in Pakistan, the opposite of US traffic.
Roads are uneven, and the drivers are often untrained and aggressive. Traffic rules are often not followed strictly by citizens in few areas.
Donkey carts, bicyclists, and pedestrians can often cause roadside hazards in some areas. Road accidents are also common. Even the major highways in Pakistan suffer from poor maintenance. They have sharp drop-offs, numerous potholes, and barriers that are not sign-posted. We recommend hiring a trained local driver during your stay. A local driver knows well about the roads and streets, and he can negotiate with the locals in case of any dispute.
If you prefer driving yourself, you should be extremely cautious.
You should avoid all forms of public transports, including trains, taxis, or Uber. Those in US government personnel are strictly not allowed to use any public transport due to security reasons.