US travel advisory moots increased caution while travelling to India

The US travel advisory urges Americans travelling to the country to keep Jammu and Kashmir out of their plans

In what comes across as a fresh move, the United States has issued a new travel advisory for its citizens travelling to India. The advisory has called upon Americans travelling to India to adopt “increased caution”.

The US advisory has also urged Americans travelling to the country not to travel to Jammu and Kashmir and within 10 km of the India-Pakistan border. Going by a report, the advisory issued by the US State Department reads thus: “Exercise increased caution in India due to crime and terrorism.”  

US travel advisory asks citizens to keep J&K out of their itinerary

Significant is the fact that the US State Department’s travel advisory comes a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 Travel Health Notice due to Covid-19. This advisory had indicated a low level of Covid-19 in India.

What is inferred from the two advisories is that the US has taken into account the fact that the situation in India is now returning to normal. However, when it comes to travelling to Jammu and Kashmir and the Indo-Pakistan border, the US has not changed its stance and wants American citizens to keep these regions in the country out of their travel itinerary.

Exception to visits to eastern Ladakh region

This is clear when the US travel advisory says that terror attacks and violent civil unrest could be a possibility the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. This belief has prompted the US State Department to caution its citizens to avoid all travel to Jammu and Kashmir, though exception have been made to visits to the eastern Ladakh region and its capital, Leh.

The US State Department feels that sporadic violence are possible along the Line of Control (LoC) separating India and Pakistan, and in Srinagar, Gulmarg, and Pahalgam, the prominent tourism destinations in the Kashmir valley. The advisory also draws attention to the India government’s stance on not allowing foreign tourists to travel to areas along the LoC.

The new advisory wants American citizens travelling to India to confirm the current status of the border crossing prior to commencing travel. It has pointed out that a Pakistani visa is required to enter Pakistan, and that only US citizens residing in India can apply for a Pakistani visa in India. It has further pointed out to its citizens to apply for a Pakistani visa in their country of residence before travelling to India.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The New Indian Express, MSN India, PanAsiaBiz. Sanjeev can be reached at [email protected]
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