Is Pakistan Safe? Areas Travelers Should Avoid

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Many parts of Pakistan are affected by unrest, violence and terrorism activity. Here's an overview of the unsafe areas travelers should avoid visiting.

Border fence between India and Pakistan Photo © Getty Images/Manuel ROMARIS

Pakistan is currently in a general state of unrest, and many government travel advisories recommend reconsidering your need to travel to Pakistan, as the risk of violence and terrorism is high. There are certain areas you are advised not to travel to under any circumstances at all.

Regions to avoid in Pakistan

Travel to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghanistan border as well as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa areas is advised against for any reason. These areas are in a state of unrest, have seen a sharp increase in violence. You should also avoid Azad Kashmir and the India-Pakistan Border. Confirm the status of the border crossing prior to commencing travel if you must pass through this border.

Traveling anywhere in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area is to be avoided – and this includes the areas of Swat, Buner, Lower Dir, and travel on the Peshawar to Chitral road via the Lowari Pass.

Major conflicts have occurred in these regions, where the Pakistani military regularly conducts large-scale military offensives, particularly in the Swat, Tank and Northern and Southern Waziristan areas. Currently, there are still large amounts of militant activity in these areas.

The areas of Peshawar, Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki and Dera Ismail Khan should all be avoided for similar reasons. On the 13th of May 2011, an explosion killed 80 people in Charsadda, and similar events have occurred and do occur in all areas mentioned.

The Kalesh Valley, Bamoboret Valley and the Arandu District to the south and west of Chitral in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region have also seen a massive upsurge in militant activity. In these regions, there has been a specific increase in abductions (whether for ransom or propaganda reasons), armed robbery with violence, and outright murder.

Travel to Northern and Western Balochistan is also advised against for any reason. That does mean "any reason" with no exceptions. Travel to Quetta, and Interior Sindh areas in the North of Nawabsha should also be avoided unless there is a truly pressing reason, and even then think very carefully about how pressing that reason is. If it's not worth risking your life for, don't go.

In all of these areas, targets may be anyone of virtually any nationality, race, or religion for just about any reason. Whether it is sectarian, ethnic, or simply profit driven, violence is very high in these regions and may strike at any moment for any reason.

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  • kamran Malik said

    After the operation Zarb e Azb, Pakistan is save now. A friend of mine from Holland(not pakistani) visited me last year and he stayed for 9 months. He visited most of Pakistan including, Lahore, Karachi, Kashmir, Sargodha, Gilgit, Skardu. So, it's all safe.

  • Anonymous Muslim said

    if you care about your life, kindly avoid all areas in pakistan. Perhaps a visit to the airport on a trasit flight is the most you should do. Call your family members to the airport and pay for their entry so they can meet with you.

    Most parts of pakistan are involved in terror attacks. Officials are often bribed by terrorists to carry out a terror attack that could kill hundreds.

    My experience of pakistan was awful, I was kidnapped and asked to deliver arms
    I am a muslim from australia and pakistan is the last country I would ever go again.

  • Georges said
    5 deaths per 100,000 people per year in 2015
    Casualties of terrorism in Pakistan in 2017 : 1253 (military and terrorist included). Population of Pakistan in 2017 roughly 210 Millions
    So ... 0.6 deaths per 100,000 people for terrorism in Pakistan in 2017.

    Trust numbers, not horror stories :)

  • Khan said

    Before you put negative narrations about pakistan first get your facts in order.Everywhere in the world its dangerous if you not alert. Im sure you of all people would live in pakistan for all the reasons in the world.Pakistan Zinda baad.Allah protect the land Ameen

  • Bob said

    If you are going to provide, or provide this platform for people to provide important information on safety related to travel to a location you provide insurance to/for then I suggest you ensure the information is up to date. The main article is 4 years old. The last comment is almost 1 1/2 years old.

  • Umer said

    I would like to start off by saying that your article on the safety in Pakistan is directionless. Terrorism in Pakistan has declined 90% in the past decade alone and a bomb extremely likely to be the last thing to come up in your mind when visiting Pakistan, especially when visiting cities like Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

    Phil Sylvester is a writer from Yorkshire, United Kingdom, nowhere close to Pakistan and it is even worse that you are writing such exaggerated statements without having been to Pakistan in the first place. If you had been to anywhere in Pakistan, I could guarantee you will return with a trip of your lifetime

    Just because Pakistan shares a long border with India doesn't signal war every second of existence, any traveller on World Nomads would be smart enough to do some basic research or consult with a local guide about the environment

    Thank You

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