Washington, Oct. 7 (AFP): The US today warned its citizens in Pakistan of a “volatile and unpredictable” security situation in the country as mobs rampaged through cities there after the slaying of an extremist Sunni MP.
The US embassy in Islamabad urged Americans to observe “utmost caution” and advised them to ensure their passports and other travel documents are current and valid.
However, it gave no indication that they should be prepared to leave Pakistan on short notice.
“The situation is volatile and unpredictable,” the embassy said in a notice distributed to US citizens in Pakistan, a copy of which was provided to AFP in Washington by the state department.
“American citizens are advised to limit their movements, to observe the utmost caution in their activities at this time, and to check the US embassy website for further developments,” it said.
“Us citizens should ensure that their travel documents remain valid for travel and are urged to register and obtain updated security information at the US embassy or consulates,” it added.
The notice was released as unrest swept through Pakistan, with thousands of emotionally charged mourners rampaging through cities after funeral prayers for the slain MP, torching buildings, hurling rocks and vowing revenge. Tariq’s shooting took place on the day US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage met Musharraf for talks focused on the US-led war on terror. The assassination underlines the failure of Musharraf’s vaunted crackdown on militants. The SSP has been accused of involvement in a wave of violence between Islam's two main sects.