The safety and security situation in Pakistan has tremendously improved and for that reason, tourists around the world enjoy a calm and safe environment on their visit to Pakistan. Violent crimes in Pakistan are rare and there is a very low probability and risk that, as a tourist, you will experience anything more than petty crime. However, Pakistan can be dangerous in some areas but that should not jeopardize your safety or put you at high risk because as a visitor you have zero chances of ending up in those trivial places of Pakistan.
Is Pakistan Safe?
How to Stay Safe While Visiting Pakistan?
Although most places and places of tourist attractions in Pakistan are safe, yet we want to help you protect yourself and your belongings during your stay. So do take note of our advice and enjoy your stay feeling better prepared.
How to Ensure Hotel Safety in Pakistan?
- Do choose your hotel with care. Go for one with good reviews and security.
- Familiarise yourself with the location of fire extinguishers, fire exits, assembly points, and evacuation routes when you arrive.
- Do think about what you need to take with you before going out and leave valuables in the safe deposit box in your room or the hotel safe.
- Do mark your bags with your name and contact number or email – on the inside too.
- Do keep photocopies and details of your passport, travel documents, banking details, debit and credit card details, serial numbers and details of your devices, and important contact numbers like your country’s embassy or consulate.
- Do have a backup plan, such as access to a laptop, should you lose your phone and key contact numbers.
- Don’t leave your room door and windows open or unlocked when you leave.
- Don’t leave luggage unattended even for a few seconds. Hotel lobbies attract thieves.
How to Stay Safe from Street Crime in Pakistan?
Street crime in Pakistan is often opportunistic, so making yourself less of a target, moving with purpose, and being aware of your surroundings will go a long way to keeping you safe. Here’s where you’ll discover more tips on how to stay safe and feel more confident when out and about.
Be prepared: Plan your route in advance. Carry a charged mobile phone and some cash, and tell someone where you’re going.
Be assertive: From the moment you step out onto the street in the morning, look assertive and act and walk with confidence. This will always make you appear in control and much less vulnerable.
Be aware: Using a mobile phone, whether making a call or texting, wearing a hood, or listening to loud music, all affect your awareness of your surroundings.
Hide it: Keep your valuables including your mobile phone, other devices, and jewelry, hidden. Remember, out of sight, out of mind.
Go against the flow: When walking on the pavement, always face oncoming traffic, as it will make it far more difficult for thieves on two-wheelers to ride up from behind and snatch your property. But still, also be aware of anyone approaching from ahead of you.
Trust your instincts: Try to avoid walking alone at night in places such as parks and side streets or any unfamiliar environment. If you do have to walk, stick to busy places where is a lot of activity CCTV and good lighting.
Make a plan: And stick to it. First off, discuss with friends what to do if something were to go wrong on your night out together, eg if one of you has too much to drink or you were to get separated. Agree on a backup plan and look out for one another.
Be vigilant: Alcohol and drugs will reduce reaction times and inhibitions, which makes it harder to assess risks and decide how to deal with them. So keep an eye on how much you drink and never let your glass or bottle out of your sight.
Safety in numbers: Try to travel with people you know and, where possible, stick to routes and forms of transport that others are using and avoid shortcuts in lonely places.
How to Stay Safety When You are Outside in Pakistan?
- Do consider wearing a money belt.
- Do keep mobile phones, cameras, and laptops close at hand and never unattended.
- Do beware of pickpockets.
- Do be aware of who may be around you when using an ATM. See more about ATMs.
- Don’t ever give your PIN to anyone, even if they claim to be an undercover police officer, which has been known to happen.
Don’t buy theatre or concert tickets from ‘touts’ in the street – only buy from reliable sources.
How to Stay Safety When You Travelling in Pakistan?
Buses: Sit downstairs or close to the driver on a double-decker night bus, where they can see you. Likewise, avoid sitting in an empty carriage on trains.
Trains: Always try to avoid sitting in an empty carriage where you are more vulnerable.
Cycles: If you choose to discover Pakistan on a bike, do be extra careful, especially in traffic, and keep your distance from buses and large vehicles, as they may turn suddenly and not see you. And remember that we drive on the left side of the roads in Pakistan.
Walking: Take great care when crossing the road. Always try to cross at marked crossing points and remember to look both ways as traffic, including cycles, maybe coming from a different direction.
At Night: Avoid walking alone in places such as parks and side streets or any unfamiliar environment. If you must walk, then stick to busy places where there is a lot of activity and good lighting.
Taxis and Minicabs: It is very common that people take taxis and minicabs in Pakistan. As a tourist sometimes you might be tempted to jump into a taxi to save time. It is very important that you book taxis from a reputed company.
Rickshaws and Pedicabs: These are legal in Pakistan but be careful as some drivers have been known to demand extremely large sums of money for very short rides.
So remember, always use a booked and licensed minicab, taxi, bus, or the Underground – and avoid dark, quiet areas in Pakistan, the same as you would in any town or city.
How to Respond to a Violent Situation in Pakistan
Violent crimes in Pakistan are not very common, yet it is important to know how to respond to a violent situation should you become a victim.
Violence covers all forms of assault that cause injury. Here, you’ll find advice about how to protect yourself and how to react.
Knowing how to respond to a violent situation requires split-second decision making and presence of mind – not always easy. However, we’ve compiled a list of things you should do in the highly unlikely event that you find yourself in a violent situation.
It’s important to never lose sight of the fact that your personal safety is the most important thing. Your belongings can be replaced but you can’t. So, when responding to a violent situation, please try to remember the following:
- trust your instincts and if you think a situation is getting worse, try not to get involved
- look for a way to leave
- if you’re in a building with security personnel, tell them immediately about what is happening
put distance between yourself and the other person
- if you are able to, contact police
- if you’re unable to call the police during the incident, then call as soon as you can
If it comes to the worst, you are entitled to defend yourself using reasonable force, but you may be asked to account for and justify any action you take.
How to Protect Yourself From Street Robbery in Pakistan
Here are some useful ways to keep you and your property safe on the street in Pakistan.
Look confident: You are less likely to be targeted if you look confident. Move with purpose and try to be aware of your surroundings.
Know where you’re going: Plan your route and think about what to take with you, especially if you’re going somewhere you haven’t been before. Keep to busy, well-lit streets, walkways, and paths which are more likely to be covered by CCTV. Only take licensed taxis or minicabs booked by phone or a mobile phone app.
Hide it: Keep your mobile phone and valuables out of sight. If you’re using your phone it’s more likely to be snatched from your hand as you’re not paying attention to your surroundings, so look around you.
And never leave a mobile, any other device, wallet or purse on the table of an outdoor café, pub or restaurant. The same goes for any jewelry you might be wearing – keep it covered when walking down the street.
Finally – and this is so important to remember – if you’re threatened with violence, don’t risk your personal safety. Property can be replaced, you can’t.
Staying Safe from Terrorism in Pakistan
The threat of terrorism in Pakistan is real, but with a little knowledge, you can increase your safety and help protect yourself against a terrorist attack. Find out below how to stay safe when you’re out and about and how to report any suspicious behavior that could be connected to terrorism.
Communities defeat terrorism. We need the help and support of individuals, businesses, and communities across Pakistan to remain alert and maintain the safety and security of those places where we live, work, and socialize.
If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious, trust your instincts and NACTA (National Counter Terrorism Authority) Pakistan by reporting possible terrorist activity in confidence. Any piece of information could be important, so it’s better to be safe and report anything you see. You can help the police prevent terrorism and save lives.
Crowded places, events, public transport, and iconic locations throughout Pakistan are some examples of locations that could be potential targets for terrorists.
You’re familiar with your workplace and the surrounding area, so you’re ideally placed to spot when something is amiss. In this period of heightened alert, it is vital to remain vigilant, trust your instincts, and report possible terrorist activity to the police.
Look for anything that seems out of the ordinary, such as:
- people in stationary vehicles watching a building or structure
- vehicles moving slowly near public buildings, structures or bridges, or parked in suspicious circumstances
- people using recording equipment, including camera phones, or seen making notes or sketches of security details
- someone suspicious paying close attention to specific entry and exit points, stairwells, hallways or fire escapes
- people loitering at or near premises for long periods and watching staff, visitors and deliveries for no apparent reason
- people asking detailed or unusual questions about buildings and business operations, facilities (such as room layouts), security or parking for no apparent reason
- anyone in ‘off-limits’ areas, plant rooms and similar – ask these people who they are and what they’re doing, and report this immediately to the police, emergency services, or to NACTA (National Counter Terrorism Authority) Pakistan
Spiked Drinks: What You Need to Know
Spiking, where someone adds drugs or alcohol to another person’s drink without them knowing, is illegal. Whether it’s done as a prank or with the intent to steal from or assault the victim here are some ways to avoid this happening to you or your friends.
Never Lose Sight of Your Drink
It can take only minutes for someone to feel the effects of a spiked drink. Memory loss can be a side effect of many of the drugs used to spike drinks. Many victims are unaware of what has happened to them and have very little memory of the incident if any at all.
The best way to protect yourself and your friends from being spiked are to be aware of what you consume and never take a drink that you haven’t seen being prepared in front of you. Never leave your drink unattended, even for a moment, and if it doesn’t taste right, don’t finish it.
If you or your friends start to feel strange or unwell then you should get help and seek medical advice straight away.
Be Vigilant if You’re Drinking with Strangers
When you go out for an evening you never know who you’re going to meet, so always keep your wits about you. If someone appears to be over-friendly and eager to get you to drink, be vigilant.
If you get separated from your friends in a bar, pub or club, let them know where you are. If you happen to meet a new company and they ask you to go on somewhere else, introduce them to your friends and tell them where you’re going.
What is Wildlife Crime in Pakistan?
It can be difficult to know what is or isn’t a wildlife crime and when it’s right to involve us. Wildlife and animal crimes in Pakistan takes many forms from hare coursing, trade in endangered species, persecution of protected species to livestock worrying. Find out what is a crime and what you can do about it.
Wildlife crime is any activity that goes against legislation protecting Pakistan’s wild animals and plants. It can cause pain and suffering to animals, push species closer to extinction, and can be linked to other serious crimes like firearms offenses and organized crime.
Wildlife law is complicated and it can be hard to know whether something is a crime and whether, or when, to involve the police.
The following are generally considered wildlife crimes in Pakistan.
- persecution of badgers, birds, and bats
- egg theft and collection
- collection of or trade-in protected species and animal products
- not registering animals which require a license
- taking protected plants
- use of poisons, snares or explosives to kill or injure animals
- animal cruelty
- hunting with dogs
- introducing invasive species
- killing or capturing, damaging or destroying the habitat of any protected animal