Imran Khan Arrest: US, UK, and Canada issue travel advisory to their citizens in Pakistan

  • The US Embassy in Islamabad has postponed consular appointments scheduled for May 10 due to 'political traffic disruptions and restrictions.'

Edited By Mausam Jha
First Published10 May 2023
Men on a bike ride past a burning police vehicle during a protest by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party activists in Quetta.
Men on a bike ride past a burning police vehicle during a protest by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party activists in Quetta.(AFP)

The United States, United Kingdom, and Canada have released updated travel warnings for their citizens due to political turmoil in Pakistan after the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, ARY News reported.

As per a report by ANI,  Imran Khan, the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on corruption charges related to the Al-Qadir Trust. This resulted in protests from PTI supporters across the nation who demanded his immediate release.

The widespread demonstrations have prompted the US, Canada, and the UK to release travel advisories for their citizens and embassy staff.

A travel alert for US citizens in Pakistan has been declared by the US Embassy.

The latest advisory issued by the US Embassy said, "The U.S. Embassy is monitoring earlier reports of clashes between demonstrators and police in Islamabad and also sporadic demonstrations underway or being planned elsewhere throughout Pakistan."

The US Embassy in Islamabad has postponed consular appointments scheduled for May 10 due to "political traffic disruptions and restrictions." 

US citizens have been advised to be extra cautious and stay away from areas with significant gatherings.

The UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has recommended that their citizens avoid political demonstrations, crowded public areas, and events and remain flexible in their plans. The FCDO has also advised staying informed of local news updates.

UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office stated, “Public demonstrations are common in Pakistan. You should keep track of the local news. Protests can occur with little warning and while most remain peaceful, they can turn violent and escalate quickly.”

Meanwhile, the Canadian government asked its citizens and diplomatic staff to exercise a high degree of caution in Pakistan due to the "unpredictable security situation." It further said, "There is a threat of terrorism, civil unrest, sectarian violence and kidnapping."

Reacting to Imran Khan's arrest, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the United States does not have a stance on one political candidate or party and called for respect for democratic principles.

Karine Jean-Pierre in the press briefing said, "United States does not have a position on one political candidate or party versus the another. We call for respect for democratic principles and the rule of law around the world."

Meanwhile, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly stressed "We want to see peaceful democracy in that country. We want to see the rule of law adhered to." 

(With inputs from agencies)

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