5 serious dangers of traveling in Pakistan

5 of the most serious dangers of traveling in Pakistan. Beware, the country is not for those weak of heart… or stomach.

 

Want to experience a side of Pakistan the average first-timer won’t see? Sign up for one of my Pakistan tours!

 

Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Governments have strongly advised against travel there, and for good reason: as a foreign traveler, you’ll be in constant danger from a variety of causes the second you set foot in the country… but they might not be the ones you expect.

Terrorism

As with many things in life, everything you’ve heard on Fox News is completely true: Pakistanis are terrorists. We’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill, AK-touting, Jihadi Joe kind of terrorists, but something much more sinister… culinary terrorists.

Often disguised as a plump, loving Pakistani mother or grandmother, culinary terrorists are everywhere. They can be found lurking behind every door to every home, ladles at the ready, waiting for their chance to stuff you so full of food that you burst like the human bomb they think you are.

There’s no way to escape it–they will find you, they will sit you down, and they will feed you until you pop. Once you’ve been assaulted, there’s no getting away until they decide that you’re done. You’d be safer staying at home, far away from the sinister cells of feeders and their delicious delectables.

Dangers of traveling in Pakistan: culinary terrorists

You can see the calculating look in her eyes, pondering how best to stuff some more food into our bellies before we depart.

Kidnappings

Kidnappings are a daily occurrence in Pakistan. Foreigners wander aimlessly through the streets, and are often accosted by random Pakistanis along the way. Before they can call out “embassy!”, they are whisked away to the closest stand or apartment for many a cup of chai and conversation. It doesn’t stop there: many foreigners have reported being transported to their captors’ homes, where they are held hostage in comfy beds while being tortured with food, chai, and love.

Resistance is futile, and refusing chai is dangerous: it will only encourage your captors to torture you with more. Beware, captors do not accept ransom, and will refuse all offers to pay from their victims.

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We were held hostage by the family behind Let’s Go to Pakistan, and forced to eat a delicious iftar and many a dessert with them. We’re not sure our bellies will ever recover.

Violence

Violence runs rampant on the streets of Pakistan. No matter where you go, throngs of people will swarm you, seeking a warm handshake or selfie. They will assault your eardrums with questions about your travels, and your opinion of their country. Things can escalate quickly, especially when food is involved–many will assault you with food and hospitality until your body can take no more.

Be particularly cautious of those wanting to become Facebook friends. It is not uncommon for these aggressors to stalk your travels online, in hopes of being able to provide you with more help and hospitality in the future.

Making friends on the train in Pakistan

Forcibly assaulted and forced to pose for photos on the train to Lahore. To make things worse, our assailants helped us carry our heavy backpacks off of the train. Suspicious.

Scams

The rumors are true: Pakistanis are scam artists.

Some will deceive you into thinking you can treat them for their hospitality, only to sneak away and grab the bill while you’re not looking. Others will conspire with waiters to ensure they ignore your attempts to snag the bill at the end of a meal. Pakistanis use every trick in the book to ensure your attempts to pay are futile.

Many will tell you that a hotel is full, or that there is no public transportation, so that they can drive you and host you themselves. Unless you’re prepared to be bathed in love and affection for several days, be on full alert if forced to interact with local people.

Looking out at the view of Moenjodaro in Pakistan

Despite our greatest attempts at cunning, our host in Larkhana managed to pay for everything during our stay there. We tried to outsmart him at Moenjo-daro, to no avail.

 

Theft

Pakistanis are the greatest thieves in the world. We’re not sure how they do it, but they have mastered the art to perfection: there’s no way to travel through the country without your heart being stolen by the people of Pakistan.

Smiling faces on the streets of Karachi, Pakistan

Terrorists? Thieves? Kidnappers? What do you think?

For a more serious take, check out my in-depth guide to safe travel in Pakistan.

 

Pakistan is a dangerous country to travel in. From terrorists to thieves, travelers are subject to all kinds of danger... though not exactly the dangers one might expect.

 

Want to know more about traveling in Pakistan? Check out our Pakistan travel guide!

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Alex Reynolds

American by birth, British by passport, Filipina by appearance. Addicted to ice cream. Enjoys climbing trees, dislikes falling out. Has great fondness for goats which is usually not reciprocated.

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178 thoughts on “5 serious dangers of traveling in Pakistan

    Aoun Abbas says:

    Please this is very misleading and causing people not to travel to Pakistan.
    When we search on google “Is pakistan dangerous”.

    Google shows only one paragraph on the top:

    “Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. All sensible governments have strongly advised against travel there, and for good reason: as a foreign traveler, you’ll be in constant danger from a variety of causes the second you set foot in the country.”

    When I have to find a question, I simply google it, and if google shows me a highlighted auto-picked paragraph on top of the search results, I do not even open the website 90% of the time and I believe you can understand what I am saying. Please I request to modify this para or its vibe a little bit. So people will not make their mind to remove Pakistan from their travel decision list just because of a google search.

    anonymous says:

    Please change the title as it is very misleading

    Aninynous says:

    Lovely piece of Work. I caught up with your way of explaining in 2nd paragraph.
    Prayers for you

    Kaksxb says:

    Pilipina trash with a garbage article and fake news spreading. Pakistan is safe u cunt

    ayesha says:

    Pakistan is the best …. i think it could be the number 1 tourism place …. the people of Pakistan love their and are very very periotic…. i am proud to be a citizen of my beloved country that is pakistan

    ZQ says:

    Although I appreciate the attempt to paint Pakistan in a positive light. Your lone experience isn’t enough to generalize the reality of what everyone, including visitors face. Making a joke of the actual problems, may be comical for the sake of your article but they are actually legitimate problems there. Also, I still find it puzzling that foreigners especially Caucasians get consistently treated with such hospitality and reverence while immigrants in their residing nations are often treated in the exact opposite manner. British are directly responsible for many of the issues and lack of healing in South Asia as a whole. You’re too young and too ignorant to understand. I’m glad our people treated you well. Its a shame they don’t treat their own that way and have forgotten the history of how British ancestors completely ravaged our nation and created a never ending rivalry between people of different faiths. If you want to actually be thankful for your lovely experience in Pakistan, stand up for those who are oppressed in the UK and experience violent racism, discrimination and prejudice from your people.

    Amna Ali says:

    I must appreciate your way of showing a positive image of Pakistan. Following you on Facebook, but never read your blog, and now that I have I can surely say That I was missing some real stuff. You have written very well and your writing is truly an inspiration.
    Next time when you visit Pakistan I would like you to join Airizo with me, a travel agency, that manages different local and global tours. Or if you want to travel locally without any agency that would be a great pick too. So, would wait for you to join me!!

    Nirajan says:

    Really interesting and fascinating article. I have never found such interesting topic and you have narrated in different ways. It is so awesome and you are true. I liked it.

    Jonshon reed says:

    I visited Pakistan Islamabad and some other parts of Pakistan it’s very scary placed. I show scam it’s happened with me too . It is disturbing area I can’t give name of Pakistan to visit it’s totally control area by his Islamic people they don’t like us as a white man. Thank good thing I like is ice cream .

    Jasmine says:

    Travel to Pakistan at your own risk. Even though the security situation has improved since 2014, the threat of terrorism is very real.

    Militants in Pakistan have been known to use IEDS, suicide operations, and grenade attacks. Major airports in Pakistan are a common target and have been attacked in the past.

    You should watch YouTube clips of bomb blasts in Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore before you go so you know the real risk you are taking.

    Recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan:

    2021

    21 April – 5 killed and 8 injured when a IED detonated in Quetta, Baluchistan.
    17 April – 8 killed during an exchange of gunfire in South Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
    25 March – 6 killed and 7 injured during an exchange of gunfire in the Niltar Pine area of Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan.
    8 March – 5 killed during an exchange of gunfire in Mastung, Baluchistan.
    6 March – 8 killed during an exchange of gunfire in Dosalli, North Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
    5 March – 5 killed and 5 injured when a IED detonated in Sibbi, Baluchistan.
    20 February – 5 killed and 1 injured in an exchange of gunfire in South Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
    12 February – 8 killed during an exchange of gunfire in South Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
    24 January – 5 killed during and exchange of gunfire in North Waziristan district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
    3 January – 11 killed and 4 injured in a targeted shooting in Kech, Baluchistan.
    2020

    27 December – 8 killed and 2 injured during an exchange of gunfire in Harnai, Baluchistan.
    22 Decdember – 10 killed during an exchange of gunfire in Awaran, Baluchistan.
    27 October – 7 killed and more than 110 injured, when a IED detonated in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
    15 October – 14 killed during an exchange of gunfire in Kech, Baluchistan.
    15 October – 6 killed when a IED detonated in Razmak, North Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
    7 September – 5 killed in Mir Ali, North Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
    10 August – 6 killed and 21 injured when a roadside, motorbike-borne IED in Chaman, Baluchistan.
    5 August – 39 people were injured when an incendiary device was detonated at a rally in Karachi, Sindh.
    29 June – 4 terrorists and 5 others killed and 3 injured in an attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi.
    19 May – 6 army soldiers killed when a roadside improvised explosive device exploded in the area of Mach, Baluchistan.
    8 May – 6 military personnel killed in an improvised explosive device explosion in Buleda area of Kech, Baluchistan.
    26 April – 9 terrorists, 2 security officials killed and 5 security officials injured in an exchange of gunfire in Khaisor, North Waziristan.
    18 March – 4 security personnel and 7 terrorists killed in an armed clash between security forces and terrorists in Datta Khel, North Waziristan
    17 February – at least 11 people were killed and 35 injured in an improvised explosive device attack near the Press Club in Quetta, Baluchistan.
    10 January – 15 people killed and 20 injured in a suicide attack at a mosque during sunset prayers in Quetta, Baluchistan.
    7 January – three peopled killed and two injured during an exchange of gunfire in Saddar, Rawalpindi.
    7 January – two people killed and 14 injured by an improvised explosive device exploded outside a local hospital in Quetta.
    2019

    3 December – four police officials were abducted and one was killed during an exchange of gunfire in Bolan, Quetta.
    15 November – three police officials were killed and five injured when an improvised explosive device exploded in Buleli, Quetta.
    13 May – 4 people were killed and 12 injured in a suicide attack in Quetta, Balochistan
    11 May – 5 people were killed and 6 injured in an attack by a militant group on a major hotel in Gwadar, Balochistan.
    8 May – 12 people were killed and 30 injured in a suicide attack outside the Data Darbar shrine in Lahore, Punjab.
    12 April – 21 people were killed and 48 injured in a suicide attack at a vegetable market in Quetta, Balochistan.

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