Less than twenty-four hours before the dastardly terror attack in Pulwama, India, the US-government issued ‘Level 3 – Travel Advisory’ to its citizens travelling near and around the India-Pakistan border. IndianExpose investigates…
On February 13, 2019 less than twenty-four hours before the terror attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama by a suicide bomber named Adil Dar belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group, the US Department of State – Consular Affairs issued a Level 3 (Reconsider travel ) Pakistan Travel Advisory.
Here is what the Travel Advisory stated:
“Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Please read the entire Travel Advisory.
Do not travel to:
- Balochistan province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), due to terrorism.
- The Azad Kashmir area due to terrorism and the potential for armed conflict.
Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Pakistan. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, military installations, airports, universities, tourist locations, schools, hospitals, places of worship, and government facilities. Terrorists have targeted U.S. diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past, and information suggests they continue to do so.
Terrorist attacks continue to happen across Pakistan, with most occurring in Balochistan and KPK, including the former FATA. Large-scale terrorist attacks have resulted in hundreds of casualties over the last several years.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Pakistan due to the security environment. Travel by U.S. government personnel within Pakistan is restricted, and additional restrictions on movements by U.S. government personnel outside of U.S. diplomatic facilities may occur at any time, depending on local circumstances and security conditions, which can change suddenly.
The U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar is unable to provide any consular services to U.S. citizens.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or near Pakistan, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM).
Do not travel to Balochistan province. Active terrorist groups, an active separatist movement, sectarian conflicts, and deadly terrorist attacks against civilians, government offices, and security forces destabilize the province, including all major cities.
KPK Province, including the former FATA
Do not travel to KPK province, which includes the former FATA. Active terrorist and insurgent groups conduct attacks against civilians, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government offices, and security forces. These groups historically have not discriminated between government officials and civilians. Assassination and kidnapping attempts are common, including the targeting of polio eradication teams.
Do not travel to the Azad Kashmir area. Militant groups are known to operate in the area. The threat of armed conflict between India and Pakistan remains. Indian and Pakistani military forces periodically exchange fire across the Line of Control (LoC).
India and Pakistan maintain a strong military presence on both sides of the border. The only official Pakistan-India border crossing point for persons who are not citizens of India or Pakistan is in the province of Punjab between Wagah, Pakistan, and Atari, India. Travelers are advised to confirm the status of the border crossing prior to commencing travel. An Indian visa is required to enter India, and no visa services are available at the border. “
The issuance of the travel advisory by the US government to its citizens raises three pertinent questions:
- Did the US government have any actionable evidence or intelligence report to indicate the probability of a terror attack in the region and therefore they issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory?
- Did US government gather the intelligence from the sources in Pakistan and was Pakistan in know of a probable terror attack?
- If the US government did indeed have prior a knowledge of a probable terror attack, then, did they share the information with the Indian government?