US issues travel advisory for its citizens, asks not to visit Kashmir due to heightened terrorism risk

New Delhi: Amidrising tension between India-Pakistan, the United States has issued a travel advisory for its citizens, asking them not to visit India due to the prevailing tension in the country. Americans have been warned not to visit most of Jammu and Kashmir due to “terrorism and civil unrest” and have been further advised to avoid travelling within 10 kilometres of Indo-Pak border “due to the potential for armed conflict.” However, the country allowed its citizens to visit the eastern Ladakh region and its capital Leh.

White House bureau chief Steve Herman took to Twitter and wrote, “US issues Level 2 travel alert for India — “exercise increased caution,” warning Americans to not visit most of Jammu and Kashmir due to “terrorism and civil unrest” and not go within 10 km of the border with #Pakistan “due to the potential for armed conflict.”

“Terrorist attacks and violent civil unrest are possible in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Avoid all travel to this state (with the exceon of visits to the eastern Ladakh region and its capital, Leh. Sporadic violence occurs particularly along the Line of Control (LOC separating India and Pakistan, and in tourist destinations in the Kashmir Valley: Srinagar, Gulmarg, and Pahalgam. The Indian government prohibits foreign tourists from visiting certain areas along the LOC.”stated the advisory.

“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and government facilities,” stated the advisory adding that, “US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in rural areas from eastern Maharashtra and northern Telangana through western West Bengal as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to these areas.”

The advisory comes in the wake of rising tension between India-Pakistan after around 40 CRPF personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The responsibility of the attack was claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammed group led by Masood Azhar.