- Both missions advise their citizens to cooperate with LEAs.
- A day earlier UK had also updated its travel advice for Pakistan.
- Advisory comes after arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
Canada and the United States have advised their citizens in Pakistan to exercise caution following the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and the violent clashes that took place in different cities.
The advisories came after Rangers personnel arrested PTI Chairman Khan from the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) — acting on National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) warrant.
Following his arrest, the PTI urged supporters all across Pakistan to protest and “block all roads, close all shops”.
Subsequently, PTI workers held protests in several cities, including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, Peshawar, and Mardan.
In Karachi, demonstrators clashed with the police near Nursery. They threw stones at and set fire to police vehicles, tore down street lights and damaged a bus. There were reports that police fired teargas shells at the protesters.
Protesters also caused damage to public property in other cities, including Rawalpindi and Lahore.
Following the worsening law and order situation in the country, the Canadian mission said, “Exercise a high degree of caution in Pakistan due to the unpredictable security situation. There is a threat of terrorism, civil unrest, sectarian violence and kidnapping”.
The Canadian mission also advised its citizens to avoid travel to Karachi “due to violence and the risk of terrorism”.
The high commission stated that demonstrations are expected to take place across Pakistan due to the recent arrest of the PTI chief.
It mentioned that the security forces are on high alert in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, and Karachi, adding that the security situation in the country “is evolving and remains unpredictable”.
The Canadian mission called its citizens to “follow the instructions of local authorities; avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place; always be aware of your surroundings when in public places; monitor local media for the latest on the situation; Local authorities may ban all public gatherings”.
On the other hand, the US Embassy in Pakistan cancelled its consular appointments for today and stated that it was monitoring reports of clashes in Islamabad and other areas.
The US mission advised its citizens to “exercise heightened vigilance and avoid locations with large crowds”. It also urged its citizens to “review” their “personal security plans”, carry identification documents with them and follow requests from law enforcement.
The US embassy also told its citizens to be aware of their surroundings and monitor local media for updates.
A day earlier, the United Kingdom also updated its travel advice for Pakistan.
The update was shared by British Acting High Commissioner Andrew Dalgleish on his Twitter account.
Titled “updated information on political rallies and protests”, the travel advisory cautioned British citizens from travelling to certain areas.