How safe is Pakistan 1
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The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
Before unnecessary, tourist tripsto Pakistan is currently being warned.
Pakistan has so far been severely affected by COVID-19. With comparatively low official infection numbers, a high number of unreported cases and a significantly more tense situation must be expected. Regional focal points are the country's metropolises, especially Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar.
Pakistan is still classified as a risk area.
The government of Pakistan and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide current and detailed figures.
To enter Pakistan, travelers are required to install the Pakistani Passport Track app on their smartphone. Proof is required for the first check-in with the destination Pakistan. Alternatively, travelers can register online in PassTrack and provide proof of this with a printout at check-in.
Germany is currently epidemiologically classified as a category B country. Therefore, a printed negative PCR test result (test may be carried out a maximum of 72 hours before departure) is required for entry and must be proven at check-in. A screening will be carried out at the airport upon entry. A review of the country categories is planned every two weeks.
Even leaving Pakistan is only possible with a current negative PCR test result. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 cannot leave the country.
Transit and onward travel
Traveling through and onward by land is not possible due to the closure of the borders with neighboring countries.
The Pakistani government has decided to severely restrict international flights from May 5th to 20th, 2021; Information is provided by the respective airlines; on May 18, 2021, a decision is to be taken on the extension / lifting of the measures. Short-term, unforeseen cancellations of flights in both directions are possible at any time.
Restrictions in the country
Tourist trips within the country are banned from May 8 to 16, 2021, and important tourist destinations are even cordoned off. The government of Pakistan and the governments of the provinces of the country have imposed various restrictions in the country: Compulsory face masks in busy places and "indoors" (shops, restaurants), shorter opening times for shops and parks, ban on wedding celebrations in closed rooms. Further, spatially limited restrictions, including curfews, can exist in provinces, cities and municipalities with a very high infection rate.
Depending on the development of the infection, freedom of movement in the country can be restricted in some cases. Travelers cannot rely on finding adequate health assistance in Pakistan.
The usual AHA recommendations must be taken into account: Keeping a reasonable distance, washing your hands regularly and wearing mouth and nose protection.
- Find out about the infection rate and additional information from the Pakistani government.
- Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities.
- Inquire locally about the applicable regulations. High fines can be imposed if the hygiene regulations are violated. The population is required to report violations to the authorities.
- In the event of COVID-19 symptoms or contact with infected people, visit a test laboratory or medical facility.
- Contact your airline before you travel and inquire about the current transport regulations. Please note that airlines may not recognize tests from all laboratories.
- Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
- When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, test and quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the relevant company or your tour operator, if necessary, and contact the health department at your place of residence or residence if you are entering from a risk area . Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
Security - Partial Travel Warning
- to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly Northwest Frontier Province, NWFP), especially in the so-called newly merged districts (NMDs) / ex-FATA (former Federally Administrated Tribal Areas) with the exception of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Taxila and Takht-e-Bahi, including the main roads to Islamabad and the National Park to Nathia Gali,
- to Balochistan (and the entry and exit by land to and from Iran) and
- along the "Line of Control" (LoC)
The number of terrorist attacks with fatalities in Pakistan is falling, but remains at an elevated level. The focus is on the provinces of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan including the provincial capital Quetta.
We therefore warn against traveling to these regions.
The danger of terrorist attacks by the Pakistani Taliban as well as religiously motivated or separatist groups, in particular through bomb attacks and suicide bombings, continues to exist nationwide, including in the major cities of Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Multan and Rawalpindi, and increasingly during Friday prayers, on public holidays such as the beginning and End of ramadan. The terrorist attacks are directed primarily against the armed forces, security services, police, markets, infrastructure facilities, religious sites (mosques, shrines, churches) and ethnic minorities. In most cases the civilian population is also killed and injured.
In Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (especially in the so-called newly merged districts (NMDs)) there is also an increased risk of kidnapping.
There are occasional religious, ethnic or criminal attacks and clashes between terrorist or criminal groups and security forces in Karachi.
- Before starting your journey, get local advice on the security situation at the travel destination and ask the Pakistani authorities or travel agency which areas are closed to tourists.
- Expect regular checks, and occasionally travel restrictions imposed at short notice.
- Pay particular attention in busy places and on special occasions as well as when visiting institutions with international public traffic and well-known meeting places for foreigners.
- Stay away from large crowds, political demonstrations, and especially on Fridays and major Islamic holidays from religious sites, processions and celebrations.
- Please note the worldwide safety information.
Throughout the country, especially in large cities, spontaneous or organized demonstrations can take place on a wide variety of occasions, e.g. after the Friday prayers. Even if these are initially peaceful, they can lead to violent clashes and traffic disruptions and can themselves become the target of terrorist attacks.
In Balochistan and in the so-called newly merged districts (NMDs) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, armed clashes between the military and militant groups occur again and again, which can also kill uninvolved civilians. Large parts of these areas are closed to foreigners.
The Pakistani authorities do not post an up-to-date list of restricted areas for foreigners on the Internet. For some of these areas, official travel permits can be applied for from the Pakistani authorities. Applying for such a permit is usually very time-consuming. If you stay in such areas without the required permit, there is a risk of imprisonment for several days.
- Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings of people in large areas.
- Pay attention to cordons and stay out of restricted areas without permission.
- Follow the instructions of local security guards.
Border areas with Afghanistan, Iran and India
The border areas with Afghanistan, Iran and India are not accessible or only accessible with official permission. This also applies to the part of Kashmir administered by Pakistan (Azad Jammu and Kashmir) along the ceasefire line (Line of Control, LoC) and to other regions of the country.
There is a travel warning for Afghanistan.
Before entering and leaving the Pakistani land border with Iran expressly because of the risk of kidnapping in the Iranian-Pakistani border area and because of the existing travel warning for the province of Balochistan warned.
The German representations in Pakistan do not issue any letters of recommendation in connection with obtaining visas for the aforementioned countries. Appropriate visas should be obtained from the diplomatic missions of these countries in Germany before starting your journey.
The border crossing to India (Wagah / Atari between Lahore and Amritsar) is open, as is the direct transit route there. Taking a vehicle with you when crossing the border usually requires a separate permit.
- Find out about the local media.
- Before traveling to Gilgit-Baltistan, make extensive inquiries about the current security situation with the Pakistani tour operators and authorities.
- If you travel to the mountainous north of Pakistan preferably by air (Gilgit and Skardu airports), you should also expect short-term flight cancellations due to weather conditions.
- For trips by land, inform the Pakistani authorities in advance whether you need to apply for an official permit (Non-Objection-Certificate; in short: NOC) for your travel route or your travel destination and, if necessary, submit the relevant applications as early as possible.
Violent crime (robbery, murder) is observed throughout the country, especially in Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, as well as in the major cities, especially Karachi. Petty crimes, particularly pickpockets and other street crimes, occur in large cities, particularly in Karachi. Pedestrians are easy victims in the dark. Passports, credit cards and mobile devices are often sought-after stolen goods, and credit card fraud is not uncommon. Withdrawing from ATMs and stopping at large intersections at night are considered dangerous; robberies often occur here.
It is customary for short stays e.g. by business travelers, artists or SES experts in Karachi to be accompanied by reliable local partners who are familiar with the area.
Most recently, kidnappings of foreigners only took place in Balochistan and in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwas.
In general, it is advisable for visitors to coordinate their travel plans closely with the local partners.
- If possible, coordinate travel plans carefully with local partners.
- If possible, avoid walking in the cities in the dark and avoid showing valuables in public during the day.
- Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
- Prefer cashless payments and only take the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables.
- Be particularly vigilant in large crowds such as at airports, train stations and public transport, and watch out for your valuables.
- Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.
Nature and climate
In the south there is a tropical and humid maritime climate, in the north a continental climate with cool winters and hot summers.
During the main monsoon season (June to September), heavy rains, especially in the mountainous parts of the country and near the coast, repeatedly trigger floods and landslides. As a result, roads can temporarily become impassable, train connections interrupted or individual locations can no longer be accessed temporarily.
Pakistan lies in a seismically active zone, so there is a risk of earthquakes.
Infrastructure / traffic
Aviation does not always meet European safety standards. Pakistan International Airlines was refused permission to land in the EU by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency with effect from July 1, 2020.
There is a dense network of domestic flights, but the connections are not always reliable and there are delays. There are rail connections between large cities, but the condition of the rail network is mostly out of date and not reliable. As public means of transport there are pick-up trucks, minibuses and large coaches, some of which are not safe to drive.
Left-hand traffic is prevalent in Pakistan. Driving at night is strongly discouraged.
In the major cities of Pakistan there are hotels that adhere to high security standards.
The international driving license is required and is only valid in conjunction with the national German driving license.
With regard to clothing (e.g. no shorts and strapless clothing) and general behavior, local customs and habits should be observed. While in the big cities a more tolerant attitude towards foreign customs can be observed, especially when traveling overland it is imperative to pay attention to appropriate clothing and an appropriate demeanor in order to take into account the often religious-conservative basic attitude of the population. People should only be photographed cautiously and asked for their consent beforehand.
When the authorities deal with foreign visitors, out of mistrust, but also to protect travelers, a rather restrictive interpretation and application of the rules on residence and freedom of movement in the country can be observed. In such cases, the German diplomatic missions can only exert a very limited influence on the relevant Pakistani authorities. If legitimate security concerns of the authorities are decisive for their attitude, this should generally be respected.
The Islamic month of fasting Ramadan is strictly observed in Pakistan. This has a significant impact on public life. During Ramadan, the consumption of food and drinks and smoking in public are prohibited from sunrise to sunset.
According to the Pakistani penal code, homosexuality is considered an "unnatural act" and is punishable by law. The sentence is usually two to ten years, in particularly serious cases up to life imprisonment. Few convictions have come to light, but homosexuality is socially unacceptable in Pakistan.
Pakistan is an Islamic country. However, no cases are known to date in which EU citizens have been sentenced under Sharia law (e.g. to corporal punishment). Criminal offenses such as blasphemy (blasphemy), adultery and drug offenses are punishable by long prison sentences, possibly with the death penalty.
There have been numerous executions since the death penalty moratorium was lifted in December 2014 for terrorism offenses and in March 2015 for all death penalty offenses.
The laws and rules that apply to the relationship between men and women must be observed. Contacts between unmarried people that go beyond what is customary in everyday dealings can be punished.
The possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited and only possible with a special license (e.g. in international hotels). More and more roadside checks are being carried out.
Taking photos of public facilities, military sites, airports and ports, security and government vehicles, etc. is prohibited, can be classified as a criminal offense of espionage and can be punished with correspondingly long prison sentences. Individual travelers in particular run the risk of being suspected of espionage through conspicuous behavior or the use of technically more sophisticated devices such as GPS devices. In this context, particular caution is recommended when staying in the vicinity of security objects.
Money / credit cards
The local currency is the Pakistani rupee (PKR). ATMs for withdrawing cash from a bank orCredit cards are partially available. However, some ATMs do not accept German or European bank or bank transfers. Credit cards. These are only accepted in a few shops in larger cities. For more remote areas, it is advisable to take cash with you in euros, US dollars or British pounds, cash payments are still widespread.
Entry and customs
Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.
Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without the Foreign Office being informed beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of the German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.
Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:
- Passport: Yes
- Temporary passport: Yes
- Identity card: No
- Provisional identity card: No
- Children's passport: Yes
Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Travel documents must be valid for at least six months at the time of entry.
German citizens generally need a Pakistani entry visa, which should be applied for before the start of the journey, if possible. E-visas are in the trial phase, visas on arrival are currently not recommended.
Travelers who do not have a visa will be rejected at the airports / borders.
Visa before entry
Visa for Pakistan to be obtained before departure must be applied for at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Berlin or the Pakistani Consulate General in Frankfurt am Main. Information on extending visas in Pakistan is available from the Pakistani Ministry of the Interior.
Online Visa (e-Visa)
Pakistan has started implementing an e-Visa system for tourists for stays of up to 30 days.
Visa on entry ("on arrival")
In addition, so-called visa-on-arrival for tourists and business people for stays of up to 30 days have been introduced. This visa facilitation also applies to German citizens. Information on this is available from the Pakistani Ministry of the Interior. Since reliable information on the smooth implementation of the procedure is not available, it is currently recommended to continue to obtain visas before departure and not to rely on this option.
There are no known special regulations for the entry of minors.
There is no limit to the amount of foreign currencies that can be imported and exported up to a value of 10,000 US dollars, while local currency is limited to an amount of PKR 10,000 for import and export.
Adults are allowed to import 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 500g tobacco as well as ¼ liter of perfume and eau de toilette duty-free. It is forbidden to take alcoholic beverages with you. Gifts can be imported duty-free up to the equivalent of US $ 100.
You can obtain customs information on importing goods from the embassy of your destination country. Only there can you be given legally binding information.
For pets, a certificate from a veterinarian about the health of the animal and a valid vaccination certificate are required. Dogs should be vaccinated against common canine diseases before they are imported. We recommend that you contact the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Berlin or the Pakistani Consulate General in Frankfurt am Main in good time.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.
In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.
- As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.
According to WHO guidelines, the departure of all people who have been in the country for more than 4 weeks and who have not been vaccinated against poliomyelitis (polio) in the last 4 weeks to 12 months should be prevented, see poliomyelitis.
No compulsory vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany. When entering from a yellow fever area, all persons from the age of 1 year must provide evidence of a yellow fever vaccination. Pakistan itself is not a yellow fever area.
- Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute up to date.
- Vaccinations against hepatitis A and polio are recommended as travel vaccinations, for long-term stays or at particular risk against hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies, meningococcal meningitis ACWY and - for stays in the southern province of Sindh - also against Japanese encephalitis.
- Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
- The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.
Dengue viruses are nationwide (except at altitudes above 2,000 m) by diurnal Aedes- Mosquitoes transmitted. The main transmission time is from July to November. The disease is usually associated with fever, skin rash and pronounced pain in the limbs and is increasingly affecting travelers as well. In rare cases, especially in children, serious complications, including possible death, occur. Overall, however, complications for travelers are rare. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy against dengue fever, see information sheet on dengue fever.
- To avoid dengue fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.
Chikungunya viruses are diurnal Aedes- Mosquitoes transmitted. The disease occurs increasingly during and immediately after the rainy season in the populous coastal region around Karachi and is characterized by high fever and possibly prolonged joint and muscle pain. The symptoms can often not be clearly distinguished from other mosquito-borne diseases. Chikungunya fever does not always heal without consequences; long-term rheumatoid-like symptoms rarely occur. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy, see leaflet Chikungunya fever.
- To avoid Chikungunya fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.
Malaria is caused by crepuscular and nocturnal anopheles- Mosquitoes transmitted. If left untreated, the dangerous one is particularly dangerous Malaria tropica often fatal in non-immune Europeans. The disease can break out weeks to months after your stay in the risk area, see Malaria leaflet.
- If you develop a fever during or even months after a corresponding trip, see your doctor as soon as possible and inform him about your stay in a malaria area.
To avoid malaria, protect yourself consistently against insect bites as part of exposure prophylaxis. You should pay particular attention to the following points:
- Wear light-colored clothing that covers the body (long trousers, long shirts).
- Repeatedly apply insect repellent to all exposed parts of the body, during the day (dengue) as well as in the evening and at night (malaria).
- If necessary, sleep under an impregnated mosquito net.
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