Warden Notice 1/2009
January 2, 2009
This Warden Notice is to alert American citizens to safety concerns during the upcoming Muharram holidays. There will be a large number of gatherings, processions and demonstrations throughout the country, with the potential for associated violence.
Observance of the Muharram holidays often includes acts of self-flagellation, the display of public enactments of grief, and numerous gatherings and processions. Outside observers or curious onlookers are generally not welcome at the processions and demonstrations. Muharram is often a period of Sunni/Shi'ite tension.
We remind American citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. Americans are reminded to keep a low profile and to avoid large gatherings during the holiday period.
The Embassy continues to recommend that Americans defer all non-essential travel to Pakistan.
The Embassy reiterates its advice to all Americans to take appropriate individual precautions to ensure their safety and security at all times. These measures include maintaining good situational awareness, avoiding crowds and demonstrations and keeping a low profile. Americans should avoid setting patterns by varying times and routes for all required travel. Americans should ensure that their travel documents and visas are valid at all times.
American citizens are encouraged to register with the nearest Embassy or Consulate.
Contact information follows for all four posts in Pakistan:
The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is located at Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5; telephone (92-51) 208-0000; Consular Section telephone (92-51) 208-2700; fax (92-51) 282-2632, website http://islamabad.usembassy.gov
The U.S. Consulate General in Karachi, located at 8 Abdullah Haroon Road, closed its public operations indefinitely due to security concerns. U.S. citizens requiring emergency assistance should call the consular section in Karachi. Their telephone is (92-21) 520-4200 (after hours: 92-21-520-4400; fax 92-21-568-0496, website http://karachi.usconsulate.gov
The U.S. Consulate in Lahore is located at 50- Sharah-E-Abdul Hameed Bin Badees, (Old Empress Road) near Shimla Hill Rotary, telephone (92-42) 603-4000 or 603-4250, fax (92-42) 603-4200, website http://lahore.usconsulate.gov Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The U.S. Consulate in Peshawar is located at 11 Hospital Road, Cantonment, Peshawar; telephone (92-91) 526-8000; fax (92-91) 527-6712, website http://peshawar.usconsulate.gov
For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov/ where the Worldwide Caution http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_4787.html and the Pakistan Country Specific Information http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_992.html and Travel Warning can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).