ISLAMABAD: The United Kingdom has eased its travel advisory for British nationals owing to the “improving security situation in Pakistan” after almost five years, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) announced on Friday.
In a statement following a “wide-ranging assessment” of Pakistan’s security situation, the FCO said British nationals could now “travel by road to the North of Pakistan as well as the Kalesh and Bamboret Valleys”.
In this regard, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Dr Christian Turner, said: “It is great credit to the hard work of the Government of Pakistan in delivering improved security over the past five years.
“I am delighted that British nationals will be able to see more of what Pakistan has to offer,” Dr Turner added.
The statement also cited the long-awaited return of British Airways’ flights to Pakistan back in June 2019, as well as the visit of UK Royals — Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge — to various towns and cities in the country in October 2019.
“The new travel advice for Pakistan reduces the section of the Karakoram Highway where the FCO advises against all travel to the area between Mansehra and Chilas alone (previous travel advice covered the full route from Islamabad to Gilgit). Travellers may bypass this section by taking the alternative route through the Kaghan Valley and Babusar Pass,” it added.
“The FCO no longer advises against all but essential travel to the Kalesh and Bamboret Valleys.
“The FCO advises against all travel to most of Balochistan including the city of Quetta. This is except for the southern coast of Balochistan, including the city of Gwadar, where the FCO advises against all but essential travel,” it noted.
Two years ago, in 2018, British nationals visited Pakistan some 484,000 times, while, as of now, 22 flights directly go to the UK every week.