contact January 8th, 2013
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada is warning Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to Pakistan.
“Canadians who choose to travel to Pakistan despite this warning should evaluate carefully the implications for their security and safety,” the government warned on its website.
The warning was issued Friday, the day after Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.
Pakistani soldiers stand guard during a lawyers’s protest against the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, in Quetta, 29 December 2007. Pakistan’s planned elections were in doubt after polling officials said the vote had been “adversely affected” by a wave of violence and unrest after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
“News reports indicate that riots and violence have occurred in several locations throughout Pakistan, mainly in Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi,” according to the warning on the website.
“During the period of mourning and the funeral, riots and large-scale demonstrations may take place. Heightened security measures have been put in place in major cities, including the set up of checkpoints.”
Canadians are warned to exercise an extreme level of caution, monitor news reports and follow the advice of local authorities.
The warning also said to avoid all crowds, demonstrations and political gatherings, “and stay away from areas where they will occur, as they may turn violent without warning.”