It also advised US travelers to not venture within 10 km of the border with Pakistan “due to the potential for armed conflict”.
WASHINGTON (Agencies) — The United States on Friday has updated its Level 2 travel alert for India and asked US citizens not to visit “most of Jammu and Kashmir” due to “terrorism and civil unrest”.
Americans are also advised to not venture within 10 km of the border with Pakistan “due to the potential for armed conflict”. However, the country allowed its citizens to visit the eastern Ladakh region and its capital Leh.
“Sporadic violence occurs particularly along the Line of Control separating India and Pakistan, and in tourist destinations in the Kashmir Valley: Srinagar, Gulmarg, and Pahalgam,” the Department of State advisory added.
This advisory has been issued in the wake of escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, following the Pulwama terror attack.
A Level 1 alert means travellers should exercise normal precautions. A Level 2 alert asks visitors to exercise caution, while a Level 3 alert means “reconsider travel”, and Level 4 is “do not travel”.
The advisory says to “exercise caution” while visiting India and recommends that women should not travel alone to the country.
“Indian authorities report rape is one of the fastest growing crimes in India,” the advisory claimed. “Violent crime, such as sexual assault, has occurred at tourist sites and in other locations.”
It also warned that terrorists “may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and government facilities”.
The US Department of State said the administration has limited ability to provide emergency services in rural areas from eastern Maharashtra, northern Telangana and western West Bengal, because American employees need special permission to enter these areas. “Incidents of violence by ethnic insurgent groups, including bombings of buses, trains, rail lines, and markets, occur occasionally in the northeast,” it added.
On February 13, the United States had issued a Level 3 alert for Pakistan, asking citizens to “reconsider travel” to the country. It asked its citizens not to travel to Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and the “Azad Kashmir”.