US State Department warns its citizens to reconsider travel to Pakistan

WASHINGTON: The US State Department on Wednesday issued new methodology for issuing international travel advisory with Afghanistan placed along with about a dozen countries not fit for travel, while Pakistan was ranked among countries where travelers were asked to reconsider their plans. 

At a special briefing, US State Department officials said that the administration was doing away with emergency and security messages and have instead gone for a four-ranking system, starting with a Level 1, which is “Exercise  normal precautions”; Level 2  “Exercised increased caution”; Level 3 “Reconsider travel and Level 4, which is “Do not travel”.

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India was placed in Level 2 category.  Afghanistan was placed in Level 4, “Do not travel” category for reasons that included terrorism, civil unrest and armed conflict.

“Travel to all areas of Afghanistan is unsafe because of high levels of kidnappings, hostage-taking, suicide bombings, widespread military combat operations, landmines, terrorist and insurgent attacks, including attacks using vehicle-borne or other improvised explosive devices (IEDs),” says the advisory for Afghanistan.

“Attacks have targeted official Afghan and U.S. government convoys and compounds, foreign embassies, military installations, commercial entities, non-governmental organization (NGO) offices, hospitals, places of worship, restaurants, hotels, airports, and education centers.”

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