Source: New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Safe Travel
- Reviewed: 17 September 2021, 17:54 NZST
- Still current at: 17 September 2021
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We currently advise that all New Zealanders do not travel overseas at this time due to the outbreak of COVID-19, associated health risks and widespread travel restrictions.
The global situation remains complex and rapidly changing. International travel can be complicated with fewer international flights available and disruptions to transit routes and hubs. Any destination could experience a sudden increase in cases of COVID-19 and a heightened risk to travellers of contracting the virus. Strict health measures and movement restrictions could be imposed suddenly. Should you decide to travel despite our advice, be prepared to remain overseas longer than you intended. You should also be aware that your travel insurance may not cover travel disruption or medical expenses.
Managed Isolation and Quarantine in New Zealand
All travellers to New Zealand must undertake 14 days of government-provided managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ). Detailed information about MIQ requirements in New Zealand can be found at www.miq.govt.nz.
Pre-departure testing requirements for travellers to New Zealand
All travellers to New Zealand (excluding those from Antarctica, Australia and most Pacific Islands) must show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result before departure. Detailed information about pre-departure testing requirements can be found on the Unite Against Covid-19 website here.
We recognise that some New Zealanders do continue to live and travel overseas. We continue to provide destination-specific advice about other safety and security risks below.
The New Zealand Embassy in Iran (accredited to Pakistan) has now reopened and has the ability to provide consular services again.
There is an ongoing and significant threat from terrorism throughout Pakistan. Future terrorist attacks are expected, could be indiscriminate and could occur throughout Pakistan. Large cities such as Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar are especially vulnerable. We continue to receive information that terrorist groups are planning attacks in Pakistan, including against Western targets.
Potential targets across Pakistan could include Government buildings, military institutions, security and law enforcement personnel, public places, sporting events, courts, hotels, transport hubs (including airports), markets, shopping malls, educational institutions, embassies, religious sites and identifiably Western interests, premises and symbols, including businesses and NGOs.
Numerous terrorist groups are present and operate in Pakistan. While terrorist attacks frequently target Pakistani Government institutions, security and military personnel, foreigners and foreign interests have also been targeted. The provinces of Balochistan and Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa are particularly volatile. There is an increased risk of attack during religious holidays and days of national significance. Security forces may cut mobile phone services and internet access until a threat has passed.
Sectarian violence is common in many parts of Pakistan and places of worship and religious sites associated with religious sects are also at risk of terrorist attack. The city of Karachi has high levels of political, sectarian and criminal violence. Protests and demonstrations by religious and political parties have at times led to significant disruptions in the city and regularly result in violent civil unrest.
Pakistan has suffered a significant number of terrorist attacks. Recent attacks include:
- On 8 May 2019, 13 people were killed and 24 injured in a suicide attack in Lahore.
- On 12 April 2019, 20 people were killed and 48 injured in a suicide attack in Quetta, Baluchistan.
- On 23 November 2018, 35 people were killed and 56 injured in a suicide attack in Kayla, Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
- On 23 November 2018, the Chinese Consulate in Karachi was attacked. Seven people were killed.
- On 25 July 2018, 22 people were killed and 28 injured in a suicide attack in Quetta, Balochistan.
- On 13 July 2018, over 150 people were killed and more than 127 injured in a suicide attack in Mastung, Balochistan.
- On 10 July 2018, 14 people were killed and 65 injured in a suicide attack in Yaka Tooy area of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
New Zealanders in Pakistan are advised to exercise extreme caution in public places, maintain very high levels of personal security awareness and take all possible security precautions to protect their safety. We recommend monitoring the media and local information sources for new information on potential threats to safety and security. You should follow the advice of the local authorities and keep a low profile.
There is a significant threat of kidnapping throughout Pakistan, especially in Karachi, Balochistan, and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Foreigners are particularly at risk. Foreign nationals have been kidnapped in the past and killed or held captive for long periods of time.
New Zealanders in Pakistan are advised to seek professional security advice and ensure appropriate personal security measures are in place at all times. Travel routes and times should be varied and the use of public transport should be avoided.
The Pakistan military is conducting ongoing operations against militant groups within Pakistan, largely in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. We strongly advise that New Zealanders do not travel to areas where there are reports of militant or military activity.
New Zealanders in Pakistan should also be aware that any increase in violence between Pakistani security forces and militant groups or terrorists is likely to increase the possibility of reprisal terrorist attacks, which may not be limited to the geographic area of confrontation.
There is a volatile security environment along the border with India. With the exception of border crossings, foreigners are prohibited from travelling within 15 kilometres of the entire border area with India, including the Kashmir Line of Control. Foreigners are also prohibited from travelling within 50 kilometres of the border with Afghanistan in Gilgit-Balistan. We strongly advise that New Zealanders do not travel to these areas.
Early in 2019, there were reports of air force incidents over border areas of the disputed region of Kashmir. The security situation in and around Kashmir is volatile and could deteriorate without warning.
Violent crime, including armed car-jacking and robbery, occurs in many parts of Pakistan, particularly in Karachi, Balochistan, rural Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.There is a high level of lawlessness in some of these areas.
Avoid travel outside urban areas after dark. When travelling by car, it is advisable to keep doors locked and windows up at all times. Photo identification should be carried for presenting at police checkpoints.
The political situation in Pakistan remains unpredictable. Demonstrations and civil disorder are common and can develop quickly.
New Zealanders are advised to avoid all demonstrations, protests, political rallies and large public gatherings in Pakistan given the potential for these to turn violent with little warning. If you are in an area affected by demonstrations or violence, you should leave the area if it is safe to do so, or find a safe location, remain indoors and follow the advice of local authorities.
General travel advice
As there is no New Zealand High Commission in Pakistan, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is limited. We offer advice to New Zealanders about contingency planning that travellers to Pakistan should consider.
Access to certain areas of Pakistan may be restricted by authorities. New Zealanders in Pakistan should be aware of, and adhere to any restrictions in place on travel.
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Pakistan to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour. Homosexual acts and relationships are considered illegal in Pakistan.
New Zealanders in Pakistan should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. You should check that your travel insurance policy covers travel to Pakistan – exclusions may apply.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Pakistan are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The New Zealand Embassy Tehran, Iran is accredited to Pakistan
Street Address No 1, Second Park Alley, Sousan Street, North Golestan Complex, Aghdasiyeh Street, Niavaran, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Email email@example.com Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/iran Hours Sun-Thurs 0830-1230, 1300-1500. Note Visa enquiries will only be responded to between 1000-1230. The Embassy is currently not accepting any walk-ins, and all contact must be made via email or telephone +64 99 20 20 20.
New Zealand Consulate-General Karachi, Pakistan
Street Address Suite 239, Glass Tower, 2 Ft 3, Adjacent to PSO House, Main Clifton Road, Karachi 75530. Telephone + 92 21 3565 6993 Alternate Telephone +92 21 3565 6994 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
See our regional advice for South Asia