In the past five years (2014–2019) tourism has increased more than 300%. Pakistan is a huge country that spans 340,508mi² (881,913 km²). From soaring peaks like K2 to the beaches in Karachi, there are so many different landscapes to explore, things to see and places to go. So, to say crime is high in Pakistan isn't giving enough detail. It really depends on where you are.
Serious violent crime does happen in Pakistan, including armed robbery, robbery, carjacking, kidnappings, home invasion and murder.
But, these crimes are common in major urban areas. Wherever you go in Pakistan, it's important to keep a low profile, not be flashy with cash or valuables, and always be aware of your surroundings – walk with confidence, have a plan to know where you are going, and consider traveling on a group tour if you don't think you're ready for this extreme destination.
Petty street crime is also rife, and travelers are advised to be aware that the risk is high and to take whatever personal security measures are possible.
Be extremely careful with high value, easily portable items such as passports, bankcards, bags, jewelry, laptops, mobile phones, iPads and anything else you can think of.
There is a large black market for all of these items, and especially for passports whether forged or stolen. So, if you walk around with these items on show, you should expect someone is watching you closely. Never let your belongings out of sight here – let alone anywhere else in the world.
Credit card fraud is very common, so if the unfortunate event occurs and you do lose your credit card, cancel it immediately.
Foreign travelers have been targeted for their perceived wealth. For this reason, from the moment you arrive at the airport you should put your caution pants on. If possible you should try to arrange for your accommodation staff to pick you up from the airport, or organise a transfer for you – this will help you avoid traveling via public transport, which is an unsafe method of transport.
Scammers do operate at the airports, as this is where first-time visitors are most vulnerable and willing to trust "helpful" locals (who are indeed not helpful at all).
Communal and ethnic violence is a real and present risk in many districts in Karachi, so be aware of the cultural conflicts, and if a crowd or protest gathers, leave immediately.
The risk of banditry and kidnapping in the Interior Sind is higher than the rest of Pakistan, where it's already fairly high to begin with. All be essential travel is advised against north of the Nawabshah, and there have also been reports of increased general criminal activity in the Hyderabad region. The Australian Government advise the risk of kidnapping is very high in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and if you are traveling to Chritral district or Gilgit Baltistan (for K2 base camp or mountain treks), travel by commercial aircraft and not by road.
For the latest information and travel advice, check with your local government travel advisory. Many travel advisories suggest reconsidering your need to travel to Pakistan, which is an indication the security situation isn't great.
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