Islamabad: The US on Saturday cautioned the American citizens intending to visit Pakistan, asking them to exercise vigilance during the upcoming general elections scheduled on February 8, the State Department said in an official statement.
The travel advisory highlighted potential disruptions and safety concerns linked to political activities, such as marches, rallies, and speeches leading up to election day.
"Pakistan's general elections are scheduled for February 8. Political parties are, and will be, actively campaigning in advance of election day, to include marches, rallies, and speeches, which are normal activities in any democratic process. Public gatherings have the potential to block traffic, disrupt transportation, and otherwise create obstacles to free movement and safety. In some instances, political activities in Pakistan have been targeted for violence," the statement read.
"U.S. citizens should remain vigilant and aware of the locations of political rallies occurring in areas they intend to visit. On February 8, election day, areas around polling stations may be crowded, and U.S. citizens not eligible to participate in Pakistan's elections should avoid them," it added
Acknowledging that public gatherings are intrinsic to the democratic process, the advisory underscored their capacity to impede traffic, disrupt transportation, and pose safety risks, as political events in Pakistan had previously become targets for violence.
US citizens planning to visit Pakistan were urged to stay vigilant and informed about the locations of political rallies in their planned areas.
On election day, specific areas around the polling stations were expected to be crowded, prompting non-participating US citizens to avoid these locations, The Express Tribune reported.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's opposition party leader, Tehreek-e-Insaf founder, Imran Khan has been sentenced to three terms in jail in three separate cases and his top aid Shah Mehmood Qureshi has been disqualified for five years to fight elections.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi was disqualified for five years by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday, as reported by ARY News. (ANI)