New Delhi: The United States on Saturday issued a travel advisory for its citizens visiting India owing to civil unrest and increased risk of ‘terrorism’ in Jammu and Kashmir. Americans were 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.
This advisory has been issued in the wake of escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, following the Pulwama terror attack. Forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed in south Kashmir on February 14 after an explosive-laden truck rammed into a bus in the convoy of the security personnel. The JeM had taken the responsibility of the attack in the view of which tensions between India and Pakistan flared up.
Meanwhile, White House bureau chief Steve Herman tweeted on Saturday: “ 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.'”
“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.”
While a Level 1 advisory is issued as a precautionary step for travellers, a Level 2 warning suggests ‘exercise increased caution.’