November 10, 2017 marks Chehlum, the 40th day of Ashura. In Karachi, Chehlum is observed with large processions that have, in the past, been targets of sectarian violence. Chehlum processions are solemn, religious events and are not tourist attractions. The U.S. Consulate expects a very large procession to pass through Karachi. Due to the processions and the accompanying heavy police presence, many roads will be blocked or heavily congested from early morning to sunset. Security checkpoints are likely.
Cellular phone service is also likely to be disrupted.
The Consulate advises that U.S. citizens should avoid the area from Nishter Park to Imambargah Hussainiah Iranian, M.A. Jinnah Road from Guru Mandir to Tower will be closed for traffic on November 10 from early morning (around 6:00am) until conclusion of the procession at sunset (around 6:30pm).
Due to the potentially large number of participants and unpredictability of these situations, the U.S. Mission in Pakistan recommends that U.S. citizens in Pakistan avoid demonstrations and other large crowds, and remain vigilant of their surroundings at all times. Even gatherings intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. U.S. citizens should carry appropriate identity documents when in Pakistan and should cooperate with police and security forces in any encounter. It is possible that cell phone connections may be disrupted during periods of unrest.
For Further Information:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Worldwide Travel Alert, the active Travel Warning for Pakistan, and Pakistan Country Specific Information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, located at Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, +92 51 201 4000. (Calling within Pakistan, dial 051 201 4000.) This number also is available 24 hours a day for emergencies involving U.S. citizens in other parts of Pakistan. See also http://islamabad.usembassy.gov.
- Contact the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, located at Plot No. 3-5, TPX Area, Mai Kolachi Road, Karachi, at +92 21 3527 5000. (Calling within Pakistan, dial 021 3527 5000.) This number is available 24 hours a day for emergencies involving U.S. citizens in the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan. See also https://pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/karachi/.
- Contact the Contact the U.S. Consulate in Lahore, located at 50 Shahrah-E-Abdul Hameed Bin Badees (Old Empress Road), at +92 42 3603 4000. (Calling within Pakistan, dial 042 3603 4000.) This number is available 24 hours a day for emergencies involving U.S. citizens in the province of Punjab south of the Jehlum River and the district of Bhakkar. See also https://pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/lahore/.
- Contact the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, located at 11 Hospital Road, Peshawar Cantonment, at +92 91 526 8800. (Calling within Pakistan, dial 091 526 8800.) This number is available 24 hours a day for emergencies involving U.S. citizens in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). See also https://pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/peshawar/
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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