UK revises Pakistan travel guidance amidst political unrest.

The United Kingdom has issued an updated travel advisory for Pakistan following a series of protests, some of which turned violent, in response to the arrest of Imran Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The revised guidance was posted by British Acting High Commissioner Andrew Dalgleish on Twitter under the title “updated information on political rallies and protests.” This advisory advises British citizens against travel to specific areas.

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has recommended that citizens avoid all travel to the following regions:

  1. Baujar, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan, and South Waziristan
  2. Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner, and Lower Dir
  3. Peshawar
  4. The N45 road, from the north of the Mardan ring-road to the edge of the district of Chitral
  5. Balochistan, excluding the province’s southern coast
  6. The section of the N35 (or Karakoram Highway) between the Mansehra ring road and the N15/N35 Chilas interchange
  7. Areas within 10 miles of the Line of Control

Additionally, the FCDO has advised against all but essential travel to the following areas:

  1. Arandu town and the road between Mirkhani and Arandu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  2. The southern coast of Balochistan, which includes the area south of (and including) the N10 motorway, and the section of the N25 that runs from the N10/N25 intersection to the Balochistan/Sindh border, including Gwadar
  3. Areas of Sindh north of, and including, Nawabshah

The unrest followed the arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan by Rangers personnel at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) warrant. In response to Khan’s arrest, PTI called on supporters across Pakistan to stage protests, blocking roads and closing shops.

Subsequently, PTI workers held protests in various cities, including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, Peshawar, and Mardan. In Karachi, clashes erupted between demonstrators and the police near Nursery. Incidents of violence included the hurling of stones at police vehicles, destruction of streetlights, and damage to a bus. There were reports of police firing teargas shells at protesters. Demonstrators also caused damage to public property in other cities, such as Rawalpindi and Lahore.