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Pakistan

If you’re travelling to Pakistan, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

Ireland is implementing the new EU ‘traffic lights’ approach to travel, which applies to countries in the EU / EEA. Our current advice for travel to these countries is ‘exercise a high degree of caution’. Our general advice for any other overseas travel remains ‘avoid non-essential travel’ or in some cases, ‘do not travel’.

Our TravelWise app has been suspended while we move to implement the new EU system. We apologise for this inconvenience. Updated information will continue to be provided on this website.

On 13 October, Member States adopted the EU Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel restrictions in the context of COVID-19. This ‘traffic lights’ approach provides for regions across the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) to be categorised as green, orange, red or grey, on the basis of the risk levels associated with COVID-19. A combined indicator map will be published each week by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based on agreed criteria, including the 14-day cumulative incidence rate, testing rate and testing positivity rates.

In line with the EU Recommendation, there will be no entry restrictions on passengers travelling from green regions. Each Member State will decide what entry restrictions it will apply to passengers travelling from red, orange and grey regions.

Information about what to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

All passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Further information about current requirements for entry to Ireland is available on the Irish Government website and the HSE website.

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas, other than to countries that are part of the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach, where the advice is to exercise a high degree of caution. Everyone is asked to comply with restrictions within Ireland, including those under the National Framework for Living with COVID-19. These are listed on the Official website of the Irish Government. The situation in relation to COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly around the world. Citizens who are considering any overseas travel are advised to carefully monitor the official advice and information from the public authorities in their destination.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Should you decide that you need to travel, you should inform yourself about any requirements in the destination to which you are travelling. Information about entry restrictions currently applied by other countries is available on the country-specific travel advice pages. Additional restrictions may be imposed, including during the duration of your visit. Flight restrictions and route cancellations continue to occur worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will operate as scheduled. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time. Any Irish citizen considering any overseas travel should monitor news and information from the public authorities in their country or region of destination. Citizens are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc.

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves. There are significant risks associated with international travel in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad, or those already abroad, are advised to monitor our travel advice, and follow us on Twitter. They are also advised to register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Where to go for further travel information:

Overview

Security Status

Avoid non-essential travel.

Security

We advise against all travel to:

  • the Kashmir region
  • the former FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas)
  • the districts of Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner and Lower Dir in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
  • the city of Peshawar and districts south of the city, including travel on the Peshawar to Chitral road via the Lowari Pass
  • northern and western Balochistan
  • travel on the Karakoram Highway between Islamabad and Gilgit

Novel Coronavirus

A number of cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Pakistan. See here for information and guidance from WHO regarding the outbreak, it is updated daily.

If you are in Pakistan, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. 

As flight options across the world are becoming more and more limited, we recommend that you avail of any scheduled flights if you wish to leave Pakistan. The situation is subject to change at short notice. If you have concerns about future travel plans, please contact your airline. For up to date information on which international flight routes are still operating, please see the following links:

Islamabad Airport (IIAP)

Karachi Airport (KHI)

Lahore Airport (LHE)

Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.

HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is below.

Do:

• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands

Don’t:

• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:

HSE

HPSC

ECDC

World Health Organisation

Latest Travel Alert

In May 2019 there were terrorist attacks in Gwadar (Balochistan province) and in Lahore. Fighting has taken place in border regions in recent months and the escalation of hostilities, including to cities cannot be excluded. On 5 August 2019 the Government of India announced constitutional changes regarding the status of Kashmir, further adding to tensions between India and Pakistan. Travellers with essential travel to Pakistan should register their presence on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, avoid border areas and keep their stay to a minimum. 

Emergency Assistance

Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Pakistan, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Honorary Consul in Karachi or the Irish Embassy in Ankara.

We suggest you learn as much as you can about Pakistan before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Pakistan try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

EU Directive on Consular Protection

Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Personal ID

You should carry photographic ID at all times

Unrest

The security situation in Pakistan is unstable and dangerous.

Sectarian violence

There is an ongoing threat of sectarian (Shia-Sunni) violence particularly in Baluchistan and North West Frontier Province and you should be cautious during Islamic festivals and on Friday in the vicinity of mosques.

Demonstrations

Avoid political demonstrations and large crowds assembled for political or religious purposes as there is a risk that these gatherings may turn violent. Keep yourself informed of what is going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your local contact, hotel or tour organiser.

Terrorism

There is a high risk of terrorism in Pakistan. In addition to an established pattern of terrorist attacks on military and Government installations, there have been a lot of indiscriminate terrorist attacks on public places and these have resulted in large numbers of casualties. Locations frequented by Western nationals - hotels, restaurants, shopping centres and diplomatic Missions – have been targeted.

Kidnapping

The threat of kidnap of foreign nationals across Pakistan remains high. Kidnappers don’t discriminate between nationalities or religions so you should follow these basic precautions:

  • Get advice from your local contacts about staying safe
  • Avoid travelling at night, particularly inter-city
  • Avoid travelling alone
  • When driving, ensure all car doors are locked
  • Vary your routes and departure times – avoid patterns which could be tracked
  • Pay careful attention to local media for reports of kidnapping activities

Crime

Crime levels in Pakistan are high, especially in Karachi and much of Baluchistan, rural Sindh and the North West Frontier Province, including the former FATA (Federally-Administered Tribal Areas), have a high incidence of lawlessness.

Violent crime

Criminal violence, including armed car-jacking, robbery, kidnap and murder, is common in Pakistan, especially in Karachi. Travellers have also been offered drugged food and then robbed. Always be aware of the risks and take personal security precautions.

Reporting a crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Pakistan, report it to the local police immediately. You can also contact the Honorary Consul if you need help.

Driving

If you are planning to drive in Pakistan, you should be extremely careful. Local driving standards are erratic, especially at night, road conditions are poor and there is a risk of car-jacking. Take particular care on long road journeys and when travelling cross-country.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Muslim culture

Pakistan is an Islamic state and you should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions. Dress conservatively; men and women should cover their shoulders and legs when in public. Women should cover their heads when entering mosques or other holy places, and when travelling in more rural areas.

Ramadan

Always be aware of your actions and take care not to offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or other religious festivals, or if you intend to visit religious areas.

During Ramadan, Muslims are not permitted to eat, drink or smoke during daylight hours. To avoid offence, you should not eat, drink or smoke in public during this time.

In 2019, the holy month of Ramadan is expected to start at sundown on 5 May and finish on 4 June.

LGBT

Homosexuality is illegal. We advise caution and discretion at all times.

Co-habitation

Co-habitation by an unmarried couple is also illegal.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including prison terms. Drug smuggling can attract the death penalty.

Forbidden products

It is illegal to import alcohol and pork products.

Photography

We advise you not to take photographs at military establishments, airports or any infrastructure, including bridges and dams or from aircraft.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

If you are unsure of the entry requirements for Pakistan, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Pakistan.

Your passport must have six months validity.

Passports

It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.

Travelling with children

A single parent or other adult who is not the child’s parent may need to provide documentary evidence of parental responsibility, particularly if the child is of Pakistani origin, before the immigration authorities will allow the child to leave the country.

Typhoid

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Pakistan.

Typhoid vaccination is recommend for all travellers from Ireland to typhoid-endemic countries, including Pakistan. In addition, travellers should be aware of precautions to take to reduce their risk of acquiring typhoid infection including:

  • wash hands before eating
  • avoid ice and drink only bottled water
  • avoid risky foods – undercooked food, raw, unpeeled, unwashed fruit and vegetables or fruit and vegetables washed in unsafe water

More information is available on the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre website.

Polio vaccination is recommended for all travellers from Ireland to countries where polio transmission is a risk. Before travelling to areas where poliomyelitis cases are still occurring, travellers should ensure that they have completed the recommended age-appropriate polio vaccine schedule and have received a booster dose, if necessary. More information is available on the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre website.

More travel advice

Because we do not have an Embassy or Consulate in Pakistan, we cannot give up-to-date travel advice.

But you can visit these foreign ministries for more detailed information:

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Please note that if you require assistance in the case of an emergency while the Embassy is closed, contact the main Embassy number, 00 90 312 4591000, and leave a message on the Duty Officer voice mailbox. This mailbox will be monitored regularly. Please have an English speaker leave the initial message.

Embassy of Ireland
Ugur Mumcu Caddesi No.88
MNG Binasi
B Blok Kat 3
Gaziosmanpasa
Ankara 06700
Turkey

Tel: +90 312 459 1000
Fax: +90 312 446 8061

Monday to Friday 09:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Honorary Consul of Ireland Pakistan
Mr. Osman Asghar Khan
House number 91/1,
1st Lower Commercial Street,
Phase IV,
Defence Housing Authority
Karachi 75500

Tel: +92 21 35891181 - 82 - 83
Fax: +92 21 35821184

Email: Email us