Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pakistan: Despite Robbery, Murder of Ten Foreigners at Gilgit-Baltistan, More Tourists Arrive

As as follow-up to my posting of June 24, and despite the recent robbery and murder of ten foreign trekkers in Gilgit-Baltistan, roughly 25 foreign tourists including mountaineers and trekkers arrived in Islamabad on Thursday (June 27) to trek and mountaineer.  

Gunmen dressed as paramilitary forces killed ten foreign tourists on June 23 in an unprecedented attack in the Himalayas of Gilgit-Baltistan. The gunmen stormed into a base camp, killing Chinese and Ukrainian climbers in an area of the far-flung north not previously associated with violence or militancy.

COMMENT: The foreign tourists came from different countries including Ireland, Canada and Czechoslovakia.

Permit me to be as clear and as transparent as possible: The goal of this daily blog has only one, single objective--To keep travelers of all nations safe while they travel abroad.

As I have said so often in the past, Pakistan is hardly a country for tourists--of any nation. 

First of all, I have traveled extensively in Pakistan over a period of some 30 years. My last visit was in 2007.

Over the last five years, foreign tourists have been kidnapped and murdered with great regularity. Some have disappeared, never to be found.

Sadly, many foreign visitors to Pakistan have no idea of the security threats that confront them. Many of them do not even consult their foreign affairs agency's website to identify the risks that may confront them.

On June 24, ten foreign visitors to Pakistan were robbed and executed, yet tourists continue to visit as if the risk is no different than Paris or London, which it is not.

If you MUST visit Pakistan, do extensive research on the country, the culture, geography and most importantly on prevailing security threats, which are considerable for foreign travelers.

While contemplating whether it is safe or not, take a few minutes to do a posting search under "Pakistan." It might well change your mind, particularly the kidnapping of the two Czech women, both 24, in March 2013, who are still being held. 

In recent days, the Taliban has demanded that the Czech women be exchanged for a Pakistani terrorist doing 86 years in an American prison.