The US Department of State on Wednesday issued a new travel advisory for Pakistan, calling on American citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to the country.

"Pakistan continues to experience significant terrorist violence, including sectarian attacks. Targeted attacks against government officials, humanitarian and non-governmental organization (NGO) employees, tribal elders, and law enforcement personnel are common," said the latest advisory.

"Throughout Pakistan, foreign and indigenous terrorist groups continue to pose a danger to US citizens.  Evidence suggests that some victims of terrorist activity have been targeted because they are Americans. Terrorists and criminal groups have resorted to kidnapping for ransom."

The travel advisory also said that sectarian violence remains a serious threat throughout Pakistan, with the government continuing to enforce blasphemy laws. "Religious minority communities have been victims of targeted killings and accusations of blasphemy," said the US State Department.

Areas where access to US nationals is restricted by local government were also mentioned. It added that travel by US officials within Pakistan is restricted and movements by US government personnel outside of Islamabad is severely restricted.