Is Pakistan safe in 2019? All you need to know

Update 2019: As security in the country improves, tourism in Pakistan increases. In just a couple of years, tourism in Pakistan has increased by more than 300%!

Since I came back from my 2-month journey in Pakistan, I have been strongly promoting the country through tens of pictures, stories, and detailed traveling information.

To be honest, very few people are aware of the potential of this country, so everybody gets particularly surprised when they hear my tales of Pakistani hospitality or take a look at my photos:

Really? Is that Pakistan?

However, whenever I convince any of my friends and readers of the outstanding landscape and great people that comprise Pakistan, inevitably, they ask me:

But, is Pakistan safe?

That’s a very valid question but, unfortunately, there is no short answer to it.

Pakistan is such a huge country, which comprises countless different regions, ethnicities, and sub-cultures, that it would be a big mistake to consider it as a whole.

For this reason, I decided to write an analysis which, from a traveling perspective, will show you what the situation is nowadays for travelers going to Pakistan, including which regions are safe and why they are, plus a couple of extra tips which, hopefully, will help you to stay safe during your visit in Pakistan. 

Please note that I am not a journalist but just a very curious, observant traveler who asks locals a lot of questions.

By the way, if you want to be up-to-date about all my trips, remember to follow @againstthecompass on Instagram

For practical information and tips, read 70 Things to know before traveling to Pakistan

 

is Pakistan safe?

 

Index:

The situation in Pakistan today

Safety in Pakistan by region

Solo female travel in Pakistan
Potential danger: driving in Pakistan

Further tips on how to travel safely in Pakistan
Conclusion

 

Is it safe to travel to Pakistan? The Current situation

According to Dawn (Pakistan’s leading newspaper), tourism in Pakistan has increased by 317% since 2014, a figure which is easy to believe, especially when you see the large number of travel influencers and content creators who have been promoting tourism in Pakistan recently.

Therefore and, inevitably, the internet is today filled with all sorts of opinions about traveling in Pakistan, some of them being particularly accurate, while others are poor and written by travelers who just spent a few days in the country, claiming that Pakistan is one of the safest countries in the world or that they felt very safe during their visit

Seriously, what does feeling safe mean?

Unfortunate events such as car accidents, kidnappings, and terrorist attacks tend to happen unexpectedly, right when you felt safe, no matter in which country you are in, so saying that you felt safe just because nothing happened is kind of naive.

I love Pakistan but, unlike many Westerners who have been there, I will not come and tell you that Pakistan is one of the safest countries in the world.

Trust me, it’s not, and if there is anyone who is telling you the contrary, perhaps, they should be more well-informed.

So, is Pakistan safe?

Well, the answer is way more complicated than a YES or a NO and that’s why I decided to write this post. 

That being said, in my opinion, most places in Pakistan are completely safe, more and more every day, but you should know that the country also contains some relatively dangerous areas and, even in some touristic areas, the police may assign you an armed escort, for free.

They are not giving this service to a random foreigner just for fun but because, potentially, there might be a real threat. 

Nevertheless, controversially, some areas of Pakistan are safe for tourists and, if you travel with an extra, tiny bit of caution, you will, definitely, have one of your greatest experiences ever.

Pakistan is a pretty wild experience and, as such, you should travel there with proper travel insurance. I strongly recommend World Nomads, because it is the only company that provides cover with an unlimited budget, plus they cover a large variety of adventure activities, including trekking in high altitudes, something quite useful in Pakistan. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE QUOTE!

Pakistan safe

 

The media in Pakistan

Every time the Western media talks about Pakistan, it is not to show you how great its Himalayan mountains are.

Instead, they only mention it when something really awful is going on and, by awful, I mean any negative event caused by Islamist terrorists.

From countless terrorist attacks to the place where, supposedly, Bin Laden was killed; and the birth-country of Malala, the girl who was shot by the Taliban when they took over her region in Pakistan and has won the Nobel peace prize; since the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan hasn’t really got a good reputation in the Western world. Not really. 

However, while it’s true that many of these events happened, there a few things you need to know:

  1. First of all, Pakistan is a massive country, with a population of 200 million, composed of several provinces with many political, cultural, and social differences. 
  2. Secondly, most unfortunate events happen in regions where you aren’t likely to go as a tourist. Most of them, not all. 
  3. And thirdly, in the unlikely case that one of these attacks happened in a touristic area, remember that terrorist attacks occur in one place at a very precise moment. You are more likely to be run over a car in your home country than to be killed by a bomb in Pakistan.
  4. Also, the Global Peace Index ranks Pakistan as the 153rd safest country. I know, it is not a very good mark but still, take a look at the ranking table and you will see that it is still better than Russia and just below Turkey and Ukraine. 

And, most importantly, so far, there aren’t any reports from tourists who got into trouble during their visit.

That’s what the media doesn’t tell us.

Read: The ultimate travel itinerary to Pakistan

is Pakistan safe to travel
This is the image of Pakistan we have in the Western world – Is Pakistan safe to travel

 

Safety in Pakistan by region

As I said, safety in Pakistan largely depends on the region you may be heading to. 

That’s why I decided to make this detailed breakdown for you.

Pakistan is a pretty wild experience and, as such, you should travel there with proper travel insurance. I strongly recommend World Nomads, because it is the only company that provides cover with an unlimited budget, plus they cover a large variety of adventure activities, including trekking in high altitudes, something quite useful in Pakistan. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE QUOTE!

Which areas in Pakistan are not safe for travel?

These are the most dangerous areas in Pakistan and the ones which appear more often in the news. 

However, you should know that it is very difficult to go there as a tourist.

Balochistan

Bordering Iran and Afghanistan, the mainly deserted southwestern province of Pakistan is the most dangerous and unstable region in the country, the main reason being the fact that the border with Afghanistan is out of control, hence many Taliban cross it freely.

In Balochistan, there is a real kidnapping danger, the capital Quetta is continuously witnessing terrorist attacks, and there have been several attacks targeting foreign Chinese workers, the last big one in 2019 in a hotel where Chinese workers where staying.

This province should be avoided but, guess what: visiting Balochistan requires a special permit which is extremely complicated to obtain.

Your only chance to enter this region is if you plan to cross the Pakistan-Iran border, which is actually open but, even then, you will be escorted by armed police until you exit Balochistan. Lost with Purpose has written a detailed report about it

Eva Zu Beck is the only traveler I know who traveled around Balochistan, but she was sponsored by the Government, and you can watch her video here.

 

Tribal Areas 

A province in northwestern Pakistan which borders Afghanistan and Balochistan.

The Tribal Areas is a semi-autonomous province which is mainly inhabited by Pashtuns, an ethnic group with very strong fundamentalist ideas about Islam.

This is the least developed province in Pakistan and a region where the Pakistani Government has very little control.

On top of this, due to the proximity with the Taliban-Afghanistan, the Tribal Areas is dangerous for even Pakistanis themselves.

However, like neighboring Balochistan, you need a special permit which is very hard to get. Good luck!

Is Pakistan safe for tourists
Is Pakistan safe for tourists?

 

Relatively safe areas in Pakistan which are safe for tourists, but where you should be careful

These areas are mostly safe but you should visit them with an extra eye of caution.

Peshawar

Peshawar is the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, a province also inhabited by Pashtuns, the most conservative people in Pakistan.

In Peshawar, terrorist attacks do happen but they are very rare.

In addition, there is a significant community of people from the Tribal Areas but you can easily avoid the areas where they live.

Here, it’s best to dress like a local, in a salwar kameez and, if possible, to hang out and walk around with local friends. I met people through Couchsurfing and everything went really well and smoothly.

is it safe to visit Pakistan?
A Pashtun in the bazaar of Peshawar

 

Swat Valley

For a long time, the beautiful Swat Valley was in the eye of the Western media because, in 2007, the Taliban took control of the region, originating a bloody war and killing thousands of innocent people.

Today, the Swat Valley is a peaceful region but you should always keep your eyes open, as it is an extremely conservative place.

In Swat, you may be assigned an armed guard but it depends on the day and the mood of the police. Actually, I didn’t get one but I know other travelers who did.

Also, you should know that, occasionally, the area is restricted to tourism without previous notice, requiring a travel permit called NOC.

My friend Ihsan from Swat Backpackers is a trekking guide who can arrange it for you. 

Pakistan is a pretty wild experience and, as such, you should travel there with proper travel insurance. I strongly recommend World Nomads, because it is the only company that provides cover with an unlimited budget, plus they cover a large variety of adventure activities, including trekking in high altitudes, something quite useful in Pakistan. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE QUOTE!

is it safe to go to Pakista?n
Swat Valley – Is it safe to go to Pakistan?

 

Chitral and the Kalash Valleys

The Kalash Valleys are home to an ethnic community who don’t follow Islam but an ancient Pagan culture called Kalash.

Due to their proximity to the Taliban-controlled area of Nuristan, in Afghanistan, this small region has always been under Taliban threat.

In fact, in 2009, a group of insurgent Taliban managed to cross the border and killed tens of people.

Since then, security has highly improved and the Kalash Valleys have lived in peace. However, just try to be careful about where you go, especially if you are hiking near the border.

Most likely, at your arrival in Chitral, you will be assigned an armed guard.

If you want to know more about the area close to the border, read my story from the day I sneaked into an Afghan village.

Chica Kalash
A beautiful Kalash girl

 

Karachi 

Despite being home to a large expat community, the largest city in Pakistan is a well-known place for its violent crime. In fact, Karachi has one of the highest crime rates in the whole of Asia.

However, in the last couple of years, the situation has relatively improved but crime can still happen.

Don’t bring valuable belongings with you at night and, if you are alone, ask trust-worthy locals which areas should be avoided. 

 

Kashmir

Very little is known about Pakistani Kashmir, as foreigners are not allowed to get in. Being a region that has been disputed between India and Pakistan since their independence in 1947, for decades, Kashmir has been a troubled place.

I don’t know about any foreigner who has been there but, according to local friends, it’s not a dangerous place anymore.

By the way, you may have heard a few rumors saying that a NOC for visiting Kashmir isn’t required anymore. They are just rumors and, so far, not a single traveler has managed to go there independently. 

safe pakistan
Somewhere in the Swat Valley, near Kalam

 

Which areas in Pakistan are safe to visit?

These are of Pakistan are very safe to travel. 

Islamabad

The relatively new capital of the country is, definitely, the safest city in Pakistan.

With plenty of checkpoints everywhere, the Government has invested so many resources in security, as this is where the Pakistani elite live, as well as plenty of foreigners.

tourist places in pakistan
Faisal Mosque in Islamabad

 

Lahore

You may have heard of some terrorist attacks happening in Lahore but, to be honest, there were only a few and they always targeted specific places and people.

In fact, these attacks were no worse than the ones which happened in European capitals, such as Paris or London. The likelihood of being affected by one of these incidents is extremely low.

Other than that, Lahore is a safe city filled with plenty of welcoming people and happiness.

is Pakistan safe to visit
Lahore mosque – Is Pakistan safe to visit

 

Gilgit-Baltistan 

Fortunately, the most beautiful province in Pakistan is also the safest one.

Home to the Karakoram Highway and some of the highest mountains on Earth, Gilgit-Baltistan is where you will spend most of your time.

Most of its inhabitants are Shia, a more liberal branch of Islam and, perhaps, one of the reasons why there are no Islamist radicals.

Nevertheless, Gilgit-Baltistan witnessed quite a critical incident back in 2013, when a group of radical Islamists opened fire and killed 10-20 tourist climbers on Nanga Parbat.

This was the first and last incident that ever happened in Gilgit-Baltistan and, to be honest, the authors were Pashtuns from KPK province, not Gilgit.

Please keep in mind that this incident was an exception and, after that, security has drastically improved.

Astore Valley and Nanga Parbat

 

The rest of Sindh and Punjab provinces

The two provinces where Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi belong to are the least visited safe areas in Pakistan.

Here, almost no real incidents that could have affected foreigners have been reported and, actually, you can move around freely, without any restriction.

In this area, the train is the easiest and most comfortable way of transportation. I didn’t spend much time here but, regarding security, I didn’t find any major issues.

I only found that, in many cities, most budget hotels are not allowed to host foreigners.

Lost with Purpose has a great guide to travel in Sindh Province.

Remember to read my backpacking guide and travel itinerary to Pakistan to learn more about all these safe regions

Pakistan safe to travel
Multan – Is Pakistan safe to travel

 

Is it safe to travel to Pakistan as a solo female traveler?

Is Pakistan safe for women?

Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer to this, for several reasons. 

First of all, you should know that I went to Pakistan as a solo man, so my knowledge about female travel in Pakistan is limited and based on what other women told me. 

What I can tell you is that, if you go to Pakistan with a man, either your partner or a friend, you should be totally fine. 

However, according to many women, if you travel there as a solo female, safety will depend on a large variety of factors, ranging from your traveling experience to the regions you visit, how you behave, how you dress, etc. 

As I said, I am not an expert on this topic. However, my friend Alex has written a very comprehensive analysis of women traveling in Pakistan: Is Pakistan safe for women?

 

Potential danger: Is it safe to drive in Pakistan?

Heads-up: in Pakistan, people drive like crazy and accidents do happen frequently.

In my opinion, the roads are the only real danger in Pakistan not only because the locals are nuts but  also because, in the Northern Areas, some mountain roads are just dangerous by themselves. 

However, I wouldn’t say that driving in Pakistan is more dangerous than in India or other developing countries with crazy driving, such as Egypt

Actually, I think that driving in countries like Saudi Arabia or Oman is even more dangerous, as there the roads are good and the locals drive fancy cars, which translates into very high speeding. Saudi Arabia is, by far, the place where I have been most afraid in a car.

Anyways, long story short: the roads in Pakistan are as dangerous as in other developing countries but, if this is a concern for you, perhaps you should hire a local guide to drive you around. 

 

Is it safe to travel to Pakistan? Additional tips and information

Choose the right travel insurance

Pakistan is an extremely adventurous, trekking destination, so you really should buy proper travel insurance, and I recommend World Nomads because:

  • It covers trekking up to 6,000 meters (note that, in Gilgit-Baltistan, it is very easy to reach 4,000-meter base camps. 
  • They provide with unlimited medical expenses 

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE QUOTE FROM WORLD NOMADS

 

Dress like a local

Like I said on numerous occasions, it’s highly recommended to wear a salwar kameez, the typical Pakistani dress, especially in KPK province.

This way, you won’t call much attention to yourself. 

Couchsurfing

In Pakistan, Couchsurfing is a big deal and a great way to meet trustworthy, hospitable locals who will try to help you immensely on your journey.

Checkpoints and Pakistani police – Have 10-15 passport copies with you

I’ve never been through so many police controls as in Pakistan. From Islamabad to Gilgit along the Karakoram Highway, I passed ten different checkpoints in one single day, and at each one I had to give a passport copy and register.

The police were continuously interrogating me: Why are you here? Where are you going? They are actually pretty cool and their only objective is to check for your personal security.

Personal armed guards

In some areas of Pakistan like Swat Valley, Kalash region and even for the Fairy Meadows trek, you get a personal armed guard, for free.

Don’t be afraid. In these areas, there has been some real trouble in the past, so they just don’t want to expose you to any kind of danger.

Pakistani intelligence

Pakistani Intelligence is one of the best secret services in the world. No matter where you go, they will know who you are and where you are. One day, while trekking around the Astore Valley, one random local guy in salwar kameez approached me and said:

You are the Spanish, right? 

He was a member of the Pakistani Intelligence and, for three days, they had been following me and looking after my safety. Actually, the Pakistani Intelligence is one of the reasons why Pakistan has not become a failed state like Afghanistan.

Kidnappings

Except for the dangerous areas, I’ve never heard of any tourist kidnappings in Pakistan. However, just be careful when you travel in KPK province, including Peshawar and Swat Valley.

Dress like the locals and, depending on the place, don’t go out alone at night.

is Pakistan safe
Is Pakistan safe?

 

So, is Pakistan safe? Conclusion

So, is it safe to travel to Pakistan? The shortest answer I could give you is that it really depends on where you go. Some areas of Pakistan are extremely dangerous whereas others are absolutely safe for tourists.

It’s important to do some proper research beforehand and, if you go to a sensitive area like Peshawar or the Swat Valley, just travel with caution. If you do, Pakistan will reward you with your best experience ever. 

Here you can read all my articles and guides to Pakistan

 

is it safe to travel to Pakistan

103 comments

  1. I am EXTREMELY tempted, to say the least. Pakistan looks amazing. Although I usually travel solo, I still think I’ll go with a guide/local group tour in this case, just to have my mind at ease. Hopefully I’ll be able to go this fall! Thanks for sharing your experiences and lots of travel inspiration!

    1. Hey Rentate, don’t worry, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going on a tour, especially in countries like Pakistan where traveling independently can be quite hard!

    2. I grew up in up in Pakistan in the 70-80’s it was real safe then. It truly is an amazing place. It is truly worth going as the people are amazing. My brother went back recently. I last went in 93. I want to take my wife there.

      1. Ian Hazeldine

        Im not surprised Richard. I went twice in one year, I spent 3 months in Pakistan, I miss it so much even after more than 20 years. I can feel your love for the people that make pakistan so special.

    3. We will welcome you please search videos in YouTube travellers and realize Pakistan hospitality thank you

    4. Ian Hazeldine

      I went twice in 1997 , spent 3 months there 2 months in aug sept and a month in feb. I visited peshawar, rawalpindi, islamabad and spent a few weeks in lower and middle swat. I also spent a good month in chitral and it was amazing, wonderful people, but try to blend in and be relaxed. The people treat you as their honoured guests and are truely great, so friendly and I have so many nice memories. Bahrain in mid swat was the only place I felt was different but mingora and lower swat we stayed with a wonderful gentleman who really was the nicest guy who went out of his way to make us so welcome in a lovely big place by a metal bridge near madhan I think. God bless him and the lovely kind people who I grew close to, some of the nicest people I have ever met. 9/11 upset me so much and I worried a lot about the safety of the sweet people . Ive been very upset especially with evil piticians, who are a law unto themselves and I dont vote because they are all bad whether conservative, labour, liberal. I do however protest against war and write to parliament and said that they should be executed for war crimes. Many of us in the UK and other countries hate war and these evil corrupt criminals who cheat lie, kill and so much evil. I really appreciated not being judged like them because of my passport and I am class conscious and pakistani people are really top class some of the best people you will meet anywhere. Thank you pakistan from my heart, I feel so blessed thanks to you.

      1. Ian Hazeldine

        Thank you to the lovely afridii elder who was so kind showing us around peshawar. We called him Papa. I saw him being interviewed on news after 9/11. Such a good man. Big thank you to him and the kind hospitality shpwn to us by the great tribal area people. It was a joy to share these great times with you and I have never stopped thinking about this it was so special. A BIG Thank you.

    5. Pakistan is a safe place. Actually the enemies of pakistan are creating such an enviroment to destroy the image of pakistan as an islamist terrorist state. They use the people to do terrorist attack. It is no so that terrorist attacks dont only happen in pakistan or islamic states it also happen in other countries but why the world blame only islam for it what about the terorist attacks on mosques by christians or hindus why they dont called terrorist why hindu extremist parties are not blamed for destroying mosques and killing and raping women why america not blamed for attack on iraq syria afghanistan why other countries doing such involved in bombing innocent people projecting them terrorist. Remember this life is not eternal we have to face God Almighty who is only one yours and mine he does not permits you to take any life for our worldly benifits He is watching over every one we all are son and daughters of Adam and Eve we are created not to kill each other please think no religion taught terrorism and no religion followers can be terrorist but the people who use religion for promoting terrorism it could be any one a christian or a hindu or jew or muslim but once he do terror activity he is out of that religion killing our brother and sister as we are children of Adam and Eve for worldly benifits can not justify any one. And no religion can be labelled as terrorism promoting because every religion and prophet sent to us by God does not preach terrorism!!

      1. I am a American and I went to Pakistan 3times alone as a female solo trip.. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ Pakistani people are really kind.. They didn’t even charge me for almost everything.. They treated me like a queen .. I loved the northern part of Pakistan and all the cities…. I had a lot of fun.. And it was totally safe and worth it… ❤️ ❤️ I’m so glad I chose to go to Pakistan and in 2020 I will go to India…. Other people and countries have just been blaming an saying things that Pakistan is not safe it is a terrorist country.. But its not.. Its a beautiful Country.. With kindhearted, generous, beautiful, and helpful people I’ve ever met… May God bless them… ❤️ ❤️

    6. Great read and useful guide; reminds me of many of my own travels to “interesting” places. Fortunately, I have also had the opporunity to live and work in a couple of dozen of them including for example, Syria and Yemen.
      Especially interesting to me was the informaton on Pakistan as I have a firm invitation to work in Balochistan for a couple of years based in Quetta…….

      I’m looking forward to reading more and, if I do decide to go to Quetta, I may be writing more 🙂
      Keep well; keep safe!
      RDK

  2. Barbara Rehman

    I been Pakistan 2016 im married to Pakistan man. But now i have to go Nowhere. Him and his familey keep saying its safe for me and thay think it is .but i cant get any info please help ill be going one week before ramadan finished

    1. I dont know what do you people think about Pakistan?? its a country where people live …its safe…it’s absolutely safe here … you have to come im also a girl and im happy and also i love my country

  3. Barbara Rehman

    My husband is from Kalanjar district. Nowshera.pushto speaking. As i said thay keep saying no one will touch me. Ill be safe.

    1. Hi Barbara, I am from Pakistan and also a Pashto speaking person. I am living in Europe but visit Pakistan regularly. I am sure it is very safe especially for women but don’t think its going to be a lot of fun since partying and drinking is not common there. though there are so many other things you will like.

  4. John McCarroll

    Just got back from Swat Valley and Northern Areas of Pakistan – still missing these truly fantastic valleys and regions. Recent security issues have left a mark of concern for those who may wish to go back to these natural and historical locations. However, for the last 4/5 years it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say peace and tranquillity is reigning again in this region. I personally found people of Swat valley extremely hospitable and eager to show you around the kind of places not many have yet experienced. Food is quite fresh but make sure to drink bottle water (plenty available in local shops) or if you’re mountain trekking then spring water is even better and quite fresh. Can’t wait to go back soon!!
    John McCarroll
    London, UK

    1. Hi John, thanks for your feedback man! I am glad you enjoyed Swat Valley! Yes, I also found Swat Valley to be very peaceful and pleasant to travel around. However, for some unknown reasons, still today and, all of a sudden, they don’t allow people to enter the valley or they just assign you security. I think it is a slightly volatile region and that is why I decided to classify it as sensitive. Actually, when I went there in April 2017, they would not allow me to get in unless I had the phone number of a friend.

      1. Now, the situation has changed. The army has restored peace in every part of Swat valley and they have handed over the administrative control to police. So, it’s peace everywhere. If the district administration provides you escort, it is just for your safety and for clearing the road during traffic jams. Just come and enjoy the breathtaking views of Swat valley.

        Muhammad Rafiq
        Malakand, KPK, Pakistan.

      2. Hi JOAN TORRES,
        Thanks for visiting my beautiful country Pakistan, I’ve recently been to all the Northern areas and can say that all areas are very much safe to travel but precautions have to be taken when going outside alone at nights, however security situations can arise nowadays anywhere whether its Western countries or here in Pakistan. But since Pakistan is a war hit country and its tribal areas were the worst affected regions, however since few years the situation has improved greatly as I’ve been there with my wife for a complete month tour.
        Many Thanks to my Army for improving the overall security situation and love you for promoting this beautiful country to the world.

  5. I am from Pakistani Kashmir.
    Never knew foreigners weren’t allowed here.
    To be honest Pakistani kashmir is safer than even Islamabad. I don’t even remember a terrorist attack ever happening here. Secondly Gilgit undoubtedly is beautiful but nothing can match beauty of Kashmir.
    Just search google. Mughal Emperor Jahangir called it paradise on earth in verses of persian poetry. Ask any Pakistani tourist about Neelum Valley,Ratti Gali lake.
    I don’t understand why you put Kashmir in unsafe area because there has never been a terrorist attack in kashmir. Gilgit infact is historically a part of Kashmir.

    1. Hi Adees, thanks for sharing your opinion but can I ask if did you even read the post? Literally, what I say about Kashmir is: ”according to local friends, it’s not a dangerous place anymore”. So I don’t know why you say this. I put it in the sensitive section because, it is actually a sensitive region, which doesn’t mean it is dangerous.

  6. EveryCountry Is Good In My Opnion Bad’s or good’s peoples is everywhere available btw pakistan is heavan on earth Pakistan Zindabad❤

  7. yes pakistan is really a wonderful place specially the people of pakistan are very nice and their hospitality is amazing

  8. Hello everyone, I was born in Amritsir, British India and came to United States @ the age of 23 and have been living here for the past 50+ years and have visited my family in Pakistan many, many times and loved and enjoyed my visit thru out the country without ANY ISSUES!!! Like one of the commentator said, there are good and bad people all over the world but the Hospitality and the genuine people of Pakistan are NO other country has and they they invite the tourists to their homes, cook and treat them so humbly that one can’t help to think that there are STILL people like the!!! In closing, Pakistan should NOT be labeled as a dangerous country because it is not and i see and feel Pakistan’s potentials lighting the whole southeast Asia and please go seefor yourself this JEWEL OF A COUNTRY and bless you all. Manny Khan

      1. .
        Hi KSHITI,
        Just arrived back from Pakistan my Wife and I went touring around Lahore, Faisalabad, Sahiwal and Islamabad We had A Great Time People were fantastic nice and polite I don’t speak Urdu or Punjabi Wore Western clothes No Problems What’s so ever,
        We went to a Great Restaurant Called 1969 Fantastic food Felt like we were in heaven having our dinner all 18 of us agreed that was Great
        Going back to Cambridge in 3 days Will miss Pakistan…
        May Pakistan live Peacefully for ever I can not wait to go back
        Best place to relax and enjoy life
        THANK YOU PAKISTAN
        . Khalid Malik Cambridge

        .

  9. I am from Pakistan, the Swat Valley, I would say yes it wasn’t safe in the past but now it is very safe and everybody from any part of the world is allowed to enter without any issue.

  10. I was wondering how you managed to get around with your Visa application here. For European visas, the website states you need a Letter of Invitation. I am aware that you can just buy one from an agency, but a lot of comments online say that police checks can get agitated if you don’t have a “set itinerary”, but it seems that from your trip, it was very much free in this respect.

    What are you thoughts on this, and approaching it?

    Pierre
    U.K.

    1. Hi Pierre. Each embassy has its own rules regarding the LOI. I applied in the Consulate of Barcelona and they didn’t actually require it. Just call any embassy / consulate in the UK. As per the itinerary, in the unlikely case, your embassy requires it, just say an approximation. Once you are in Pakistan, nobody is gonna care / check what itinerary did you specify.

      1. Well said Joan, Tourists from all over the world are very much welcome here but one must be having related personal identification documents as the security check ups have been beefed up in many regions considerably to make tourism enjoyable and secure.

  11. hey i just wanna know why you are misleading people. Did you come to Pakistan and Some Pakistani attack you with guns,grenades blah blah blah!!. i dont no what u guys get by telling something wrong about some places

  12. I am an Indian and would love to visit. Sadly I am a Hindu as well. Hindus are the most persecuted groups in Pakistan thats what we hear so we dont know if we go will be in danger? Pakistan deems hindus as pagans. Almost all Pakistani I have met have told me to never visit Pakistan. I just wanna know if I am a sole hindu woman traveller will I return back to my land?

    1. Hi KSHITI,
      I am from Hyderabad Sindh Pakistan and I am Muslim by religion. I would say that, my province “Sindh” is safe for Hindus as well as for any person of any religion. As, before division of India, we have been living in Sindh with different ethnic and religious people all in peace. No any native Sindhi people hate any person due to religion. Still we love all humanity. The problem was started when many Muslim people migrated from India to Pakistan from 1947 to 1956 and also later on (majority of them came to Sindh specially Karachi and Hyderabad) might be to date, they people promoted such things that Pakistan is created for Muslims only, and they had started killing Hindus in Sindh that time, we the native Sindhi people, tried a lot to protect them, but we could not save many Hindus from those cruel Muslims who were trying to push Hindus from Sindh, as they wanted to occupy the houses, businesses, farms, etc left by Hindus, and they succeeded in that up to some extent. But, due to the ideology of Sindh for tolerance and peace, now they (Migrated Muslims) might still contempt Hindus in their mind, but they do not do any physical harm to Hindus in any way. So, I would conclude that, you can safely travel though Karachi to Sukkur (All cities of Sindh province) you will meet many native Hindus who are still here. Specailly, in lower Sindh, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Tharparker there are many native Hindus you can come and enjoy travel.

    2. Ghulam abbas

      Hello sister please don’t believe what others tell you .come and see for yourself. We Pakistani protect our guests with everything we have people of all cast and creed all welcome in our beautiful home. And yes you will return with a life changing experience

  13. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing your views I would like to give bit more detail about Karachi.

    Karachi is used to be “not very safe” but now since 4/5 years, the security situation is extremely under control and I’ve plenty if foriegn visitors moving around the city.

    since Karachi is the most liberal city as well as multi cultured so, one can find plenty of amusements.

  14. Hi Joan,

    Your blog is spot on except for the piece about Karachi being unsafe. People outside Karachi make the same mistake as the people outside the country who know Pakistan only from news have the perception about the country.

    Karachi is as unsafe as much as Lahore, Islamabad or any other city in Punjab or Sindh. People tend to forget that Karachi is one of the biggest cities in the world with 2nd most population of over 20 million residents.

    The high crime rate that you mentioned mainly comprises of mobile phone snatching incidents which has also reduced drastically after the operation 2 years ago. There are some areas on the outskirts of the city where it isnt safe at night, but that is true for all the biggest cities in the world with some pockets with high crimes. But by and large the city area is problem free which is evidenced by the fact that you can see families eating out on the streets, even at 3:00 AM in the night. The city never sleeps which is unlike any other place in Pakistan. Since the city residents are so diverse from different cultures, it is also the most tolerant city towards females and minorities while majority population is well educated and people from all over Pakistan are equally represented everywhere.

    Karachi is hugely misrepesented in media as almost all the main media houses are from Karachi and any small incident here (like a traffic jam) is blown all over our media 24 hours whereas due to limited presence in the rest of country, the news from Pakistan mostly comprises that of Karachi. Negative news naturraly attract more attention and that’s what all private media houses focuses on that. However, personally speaking, after living here in Karachi all my life and travelled to many cities around the world, I can safely say that the main city area is one of the least dangerous places around the world even for foreigners, especially when you compare it to other popular destinations that are quite dangerous yet are far more popular.

  15. Excuse me be in ur limit Pakistan is a safe country and getting out at night is dangerous due some animal
    Secondly wearing local is not important bcz u r there 2 represent ur Identity

  16. Except for the dangerous areas, I’ve never heard of any tourist kidnappings in Pakistan. However, just be careful when you travel in KPK province, including Peshawar and Swat Valley.

  17. Syed Ejaz Hussain shah

    Pakistan is safe country for foreign country travelers nowadays specially district Abbottabad of kpk province where you can see natural beauty areas in city shimla Hill and nathiagali auybia and thandiani are very beautiful places in Abbottabad there is no fear of terrorism and the people are very cooperative another district mansehra of kpk where you can visit kaghan Valley very very beautiful places in the valley and safest place to foreigners and more you can visit gilgit baltistan Valley 8 district and safest further you can visit capital islamabad and Lahore in Punjab and Karachi in Sindh province and you also can visit Pakistan controlled kashmir the above mention areas of Pakistan are very beautiful and safest for foreign people without any fear you can visit these areas male and females both all the people of these areas wormly welcome to visitors Chitra sawat muree are also safe for visitors to feel free contact for further information +923145048327

  18. Things have been changed and nowadays it is one of the safest countries to travel. I think there is a need to edit the article. 🙂

    1. I wish to come for the PSL which for the first time will be held entirely in Pakistan! Awesome!

      Sport is a great way to bring down barriers and I know cricket runs in the blood of many Pakistani people as it does for me.

      Many of the places that the tournament will be held have been covered in the article above, the only one I don’t see details on is “Multan”. If anyone could give me information on this would be appreciated.

      If anyone living or traveling to Pakistan in Feb-Mar 2019 please let me know as would love to meet up!

  19. Swat and Peshawar are 100% safe to travel. I just visited Swat and other areas near Swat. There is nothing ab normal there. Everything is safe for tourists. Please stop creating conspiracy theories against Pakistan. Pakistan is 100% safe to travel.

    1. I am planning to visit my fiance in August who lives on Peshawar. I am staying there for 2wks and I’m highly nervous. For one it is my first time traveling overseas from the UK ever and second I’m going alone, so I’ve been doing alot of research just on its culture and ways about the place. All I’ve been hearing quite negative stuff and how it’s unsafe or how they treat women and so forth. It’s not a nice feeling hearing people do nothing but talk negative about a country that my partner (my life) resides. He lives with his family where I’ll be staying with and all I want to do is enjoy my time with him as much as I can and it’s not easy hearing so many people say how unsafe it is. Reading your comment and so many others in this blog has helped my heart calm down alot and knowing that yes you need to be cautious (which you do whatever country you visit), but you’ll be welcomed with open arms. So to speak LOL. I feel lots better. Many thanks from the UK

  20. Yes Pakistan if Safe for everyone . Its all the global media myths . About the terrorism is concern we have live evidence about it in recent times like Syria , Kashmir , and above all new zealand . Here we must think and redefine our definition regarding terrorism . Terrorism has nothing to do with religion, nations and group of person . It is a mind set which is flourished by some specific group which are not entitled to be called as HUMAN.

    1. Thanks for your comment, so true.
      Actually, some days ago, we were discussing this precise topic, when my Muslim friends said that Islamic terrorists are not even Muslims, even though they believe they are the ultimate Muslims. Their interpretation is absolutely wrong and against any guidelines the Quran says

      1. Very true my friend, Islam doesn’t preach violence even at very lowest levels , our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH preached all Muslims to give forgiveness, hospitality, loving to all beings and that’s what we Pakistanis really do as a nation.

  21. Sonja Brentley

    11 climbers were killed in 2013 at nanga parbat base camp, not 10- 20. Apparently the government knew it was going to happen and did nothing to stop it. I would never visit Pakistan because of this.

    1. Isn’t 11 a number between 10 and 20?
      OK, nobody is telling you to come.
      Then, I believe you won’t be traveling to Paris either, as 137 people were killed in a terrorist attack back in 2015. Otherwise, I don’t really understand your logic and reasoning.

        1. lol, and your conspiracy theory is based on what?
          Some people claim that the USA Government also knew about 11-S. Should we all stop going to the USA as well?
          I hope you realize that your reasoning is full of bullshit and ignorance and the only thing you achieve is to increase prejudices against Pakistan.
          Please, don’t go to Pakistan and stop visiting my website

          1. sonja brentley

            my friend was one who was shot. go to hell . Pakistan is run umder a medieval Islamic law. people have arranged marriages to their cousins. its disgusting

          2. OK, I see, your problem is about racism, as you are mixing your fears with some aspects of their culture which have nothing to do with it. You just made clear the type of person you are.

          3. Sonja Brentley

            Actually it’s your article that’s full of bullshit and ignorance. 10 – 20 climbers?????

          4. Hi there 🙂
            I’m absolutely speechless after reading your article Joan. Pakistan indeed is a safe place to visit

    2. Than dear whats your opinion on the killings of innocent peoples intentionally while offering prayers in New Zealand and then the court releasing the terrorist quoting with being mentally ill.

    1. Sonja Brentley

      No I haven’t been to Pakistan. I know its very beautiful but honestly I wouldn’t feel safe there. I have been to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and both are ver beautiful and I felt very safe hiking and camping in the mountains. Just me and a friend.

      1. Hello girl, get a life please. Indians are trolled just because of people like you. You guys are always bombarding Pakistan and Pakistanis, even if you haven’t met a single Pakistani, How can you say that? Lol. Good luck

        1. Reading here that you tell my sister to “get a life”, she was killed on 1st Aug. Please always be careful of your wording

        2. Sonja is my sister and was killed on 1st Aug. In future please choose your words more carefully rather then just telling someone to “get a life” when she now doesn’t have one

          1. I’m sorry for your loss (if infact it happened and you aren’t just her with a different trolling account). But I am Sure it wasn’t cuz she “went to Pakistan.” And if she posts racist ignorant comments on a post she will definitely get replies too. Another Indian troll at best.

  22. Ian Hazeldine

    Sonja Brentley, you are so ignorant and narrow minded, you are clearly the sort that believes fake news and home office website. Why dont you listen to us travellers who know the truth. London is more dangerous with all the stabbings. The people in Pakistan are top class, they do all they can to help tourists and I have never had any trouble. Quite the opposite. And you cant believe british government propaganda. Maybe you are paranoid or just dont know better and as a woman I can understand you are careful, but Milan railway station is far more dangerous for example!

    1. Sonja Brentley

      I have been to 63 different countries. So I am a traveller too. I have friends in Pakistan and I know what its like there. Women are second class. I have visited countries you have probably never even heard of. My friend was murdered in Pakistan. That is enough reason for me not to want to go. Abusive bullying will not change my mind. tobwat

      1. @Sonja,
        By giving this kind of answer to Mr. Ian, you clearly show that you haven’t learned much from your travels. Being to so many countries doesn’t make you a great traveler, or a more tolerant person, but someone with a lot of passport stamps, that’s it.

        Your previous comments were racist and you are embarrassing yourself.

        I am sorry for your loss, but this shouldn’t be a reason to judge the beautiful Pakistani culture and community.

    1. Oh… Stop these nonsense… Pakistan and the wird ‘safe’ is inversely proportional always since its inception…. Home to the world’s most dreaded terrorists…. If you want to die, then choose this country…. Bullshit

  23. Dear tourism is a business a lot of countries creates the problems to stop the tourist to travel to such countries like Pakistan.
    If you never travel just as those who have visited Pakistan you will never get warm welcome like Pakistanies. Pakistan is paradise on the earth.

  24. I traveled to Karachi in January this year (2019). I loved it! I was with my wife and stayed at her parents’ house. Karachi is a huge city with a huge population, so crime is bound to happen. However, crime also happens in many other large cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Cairo, Johannesburg, etc. The only pitfall for Karachi, and even Lahore, is the police are unreliable, which is why it is considered dangerous by Westerners. Like any city around the world, everyone should be cautious.

  25. I went to pakistan with my family this summer 2 months ago and we were safe. I mean yeah if u go to sensitive northern areas like swat village I can’t guarantee your safety but cities like Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi……etc are safe

  26. Hi Joan, thank you for writing this.
    Pakistan relatively is a safer country to visit, foreigners need to get a special permit to enter in Kashmir but trust me its worth it. Heaven on Earth!

  27. Lahore is not only a city, but it is also an unforgettable experience and a long-lasting feeling. To see the true and beautiful colors of Pakistan, one has to visit Lahore.

    Art, culture, desi food and lively people define Lahore. Lahore is known for its Mughal architecture, beautiful gardens, and historic buildings. The vibrant culture and warm people make Lahore worth visiting. Also, Lahore has a very old and interesting history. Visiting places in Lahore is quite easy, all due to the metro bus stations. You can pay Rs. 30 and go to any of these places very easily.

  28. thanks for your such love for pakistanis peoples sir we really are good people but the media is spreading lies and rumors there is no such things to fear of pakistan thanks again for your kind thoughts.

    1. I need to talk to someone who can possibly be of assistance regarding someone I know who is a refugee in Multan, is Multan safe? How can I help them with the recent US sanctions against Pakistan. is there hope to get them asylum or a visa in the US if they do not have a bachelors degree for work, and do not quality for SIV as they did not fight alongside US? My friend is under 20 years old and needs medical help, something better than the useless government college that doesn’t even have classes or provides education, and to find safety for them. Im trying to find answers together with them for their well-being and chance at a better life…

    1. u are all welcome to visit Pakistan, For Indian residents, U guys could visit through Dubai root. Moreover, Swat valley is totally open and safe for Tourists.

    1. I don’t really understand your comment. What are you suggesting?
      That because I am not blonde, people are nicer to me, or what?
      Or, is it that, since I am not blonde-looking, I look like a local, so Pakistan is safer for me? You would be wrong as well, as I always walk around with my camera, a backpack and I wear Western clothes, so anywhere I go to, people will stare at me and know I am a foreigner, regardless of the color of my skin.

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