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US advises citizens against travel to Pakistan

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Washington, April 16 (IANS) The US has advised its citizens to reconsider their travel to Pakistan due to terrorism and asked them not to travel to Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) provinces and "Azad Kashmir" — identified as the "most dangerous" areas.

In the travel advisory issued on Monday, the US has put Pakistan (in general) in "Level 3" category, and Balochistan, KPK provinces, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and "Azad Kashmir" in the most dangerous "Level 4" category.

Warning the US citizens against travelling to the "Azad Kashmir", the advisory said, "Militant groups are known to operate in the area. The threat of armed conflict between India and Pakistan remains. Indian and Pakistan military forces periodically exchange gun and artillery fire across the Line of Control."

"Terrorist attacks continue to happen across Pakistan, with most occurring in Balochistan and KPK. Large-scale terrorist attacks have resulted in hundreds of casualties," it stated.

"Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting transport hubs, markets, shopping malls, military installations, airports, universities, tourist locations, schools, hospitals, places of worship and government facilities. Terrorists have targeted US diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past and information suggests they continue to do so," stated the advisory.

It said the US government "has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Pakistan due to the security environment".

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or near Pakistan, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR), it said.