Monday, January 27, 2014

Pakistan: Taliban May Be Planning Attacks, Kidnapping of Foreign Tourists, Traveling by Land is Strongly Discouraged

According to AFP, the Pakistani Taliban may be planning attacks on tourists in the country's mountainous north, where ten foreign climbers were shot and killed "execution-style" last year officials have warned.
Thousands of tourists visit Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral each year, many drawn by the area's impressive mountains and glaciers, including the world's second highest peak, K2.
Pakistan has seen a surge in militant attacks in recent weeks and, according to a report from AFP, officials are warning these may spread to the north as the spring tourist season gets under way.
COMMENT: The climbing industry in northern Pakistan was badly hit by the attack on foreign mountaineers at the foot of Pakistan's second highest mountain Nanga Parbat in June 2013. 
It was the deadliest assault on foreigners in Pakistan in over a decade. Those killed were  included a US citizen with dual Chinese citizenship, three Ukrainians, two Chinese, two Slovakians, one Lithuanian and a Nepalese. A Pakistani guide was also killed.
Police have detained 18 people over the Nanga Parbat killings, yet sources in the investigation report that only three actual perpetrators have been formally arrested.
I continue to urge ALL tourists to avoid travel to Pakistan. If they insist on traveling to the country they should travel by AIR only.
Those tourists who do enter Pakistan should know that a large number of foreign tourists have been kidnapped, many of whom are still missing.