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Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 08:49 GMT 09:49 UK
Britons 'should consider' quitting Pakistan
Pakistan-Afghanistan border
Britons are urged to stay away on safety grounds
British nationals in Pakistan are being advised to consider whether they need to stay in the country.

The advice was issued by the Foreign Office on Wednesday in the light of heightened tension since the US terrorist attacks.

It follows a warning earlier this week that Britons should not go to Pakistan unless absolutely necessary.

A spokesman stressed that this was not an evacuation notice, and that British missions were not being closed.

However, all British nationals living in the border areas with Afghanistan have been advised to leave.

British nationals in the rest of Pakistan are being urged to follow the security situation carefully as it develops.


We believe Pakistan is one of a number of countries where there is an increased threat to British interests from global terrorism

Foreign Office
They are advised to keep a low profile and to stay in touch with consular wardens at the British High Commission.

It is recommended that residents and long-term visitors should register with the British diplomatic mission in Islamabad for northern Pakistan or Karachi for southern Pakistan.

The Foreign Office states: "We believe Pakistan is one of a number of countries where there is an increased threat to British interests from global terrorism and public disorder throughout the country.

"In the past there have been incidents of Westerners being kidnapped by Islamic extremists in the region."

Diplomatic efforts

Pakistan has sent a delegation to Afghanistan to try to persuade the ruling Taleban to surrender Osama Bin Laden, the man identified by the US as the chief suspect for Tuesday's suicide attacks.

Osama Bin Laden
Osama Bin Laden: prime suspect
The Taleban has both now and in the past refused to surrender Bin Laden, saying that the US has no proof of his involvement in the plane suicide mission, or other attacks.

Pakistan and Iran have sealed border crossings to prevent more refugees crossing in from Afghanistan - although they continue to do so.

And on Sunday, aid agencies pulled their last workers out of the Afghan capital, Kabul, after the Taleban ordered them to leave.

Pakistan's decision to support Washington has prompted protests from hard-line Islamic groups.

The leader of one party threatened to organise suicide attacks against US interests if American troops used Pakistani soil for a military operation.

All British nationals overseas are being advised by the Foreign Office to exercise caution, avoid situations where there may be tension, such as demonstrations, and stay in touch with fast moving events.

And travellers should check with their carrier to ensure that flights are still scheduled.

Those concerned about friends and relatives who are UK citizens in Pakistan can call 0870 121 5151.

And for those concerned about UK citizens in the US the emergency number in Britain is 020 7008 0000.


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