Washington - The US has issued a fresh travel alert, asking its citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Pakistan in the wake of threats from several foreign and indigenous terrorist groups across the country.
At the same time, the US State Department has lifted ordered departure status of non-emergency US government personnel from its Consulate in Lahore.
Consular services at the US Consulate in Lahore will remain unavailable but the US Embassy in Islamabad and the US Consulate General in Karachi will continue to provide routine consular services for American citizens .
“The Department of State warns US citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Pakistan . This travel warning replaces the travel warning dated September 6, 2013, to remind US citizens of ongoing security concerns in Pakistan ,” the State Department said.
Noting that the presence of several foreign and indigenous terrorist groups pose a potential danger to US citizens throughout Pakistan , it said across the country, terrorist attacks frequently occur against civilian, government and foreign targets.
Attacks have included armed assaults on heavily guarded sites, including Pakistani military installations. The government of Pakistan maintains heightened security measures, particularly in the major cities.
Threat reporting indicates terrorist groups continue to seek opportunities to attack locations where US citizens and Westerners are known to congregate or visit. Terrorists and criminal groups regularly resort to kidnapping for ransom, it said.