International Parental Child Abduction

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Country Information

Pakistan

Pakistan
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Please read the entire Travel Advisory.

Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Please read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • Balochistan province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), due to terrorism. 
  • The Azad Kashmir area due to terrorism and the potential for armed conflict.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Pakistan. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, military installations, airports, universities, tourist locations, schools, hospitals, places of worship, and government facilities. Terrorists have targeted U.S. diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past, and information suggests they continue to do so.

Terrorist attacks continue to happen across Pakistan, with most occurring in Balochistan and KPK, including the former FATA. Large-scale terrorist attacks have resulted in hundreds of casualties.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Pakistan due to the security environment. Travel by U.S. government personnel within Pakistan is restricted, and additional restrictions on movements by U.S. government personnel outside of U.S. diplomatic facilities may occur at any time, depending on local circumstances and security conditions, which can change suddenly. 

The U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar is unable to provide any consular services to U.S. citizens.

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or near Pakistan, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR).  For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page

If you decide to travel to Pakistan: 

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Remain aware of your surroundings and local events.
  • Vary travel routes and timing, especially for routine trips.
  • Minimize the duration of trips to public markets, restaurants, government and military institutions, and other locations.
  • Minimize the number of U.S./Western nationals congregating in any one location at any time.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Pakistan.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergencies. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Balochistan Province

Do not travel to Balochistan province. Active terrorist groups, an active separatist movement, sectarian conflicts, and deadly terrorist attacks against civilians, government offices, and security forces destabilize the province, including all major cities. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

KPK Province, including the former FATA

Do not travel to KPK province, which includes the former FATA. Active terrorist and insurgent groups routinely conduct attacks against civilians, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government offices, and security forces. These groups historically have not discriminated between government officials and civilians. Assassination and kidnapping attempts are common, including the targeting of polio eradication teams.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Azad Kashmir

Do not travel to the Azad Kashmir area. Militant groups are known to operate in the area. The threat of armed conflict between India and Pakistan remains. Indian and Pakistani military forces periodically exchange gun and artillery fire across the Line of Control (LoC).

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

India-Pakistan Border

India and Pakistan maintain a strong military presence on both sides of the border. The only official Pakistan-India border crossing point for persons who are not citizens of India or Pakistan is in the province of Punjab between Wagah, Pakistan, and Atari, India. Travelers are advised to confirm the status of the border crossing prior to commencing travel. An Indian visa is required to enter India, and no visa services are available at the border. 

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergencies. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
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Hague Convention Participation

Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No

What You Can Do

Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Islamabad

Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5
Islamabad, Pakistan
Telephone:
+(92)(51) 201-4000 or +(92)(51) 201-5000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(92)(51) 201-4000
Fax: +(92)(51) 233-8043
Email: ACSIslamabad@state.gov

Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Karachi
Plot 3-5 New TPX Area, Mai Kolachi Road
Karachi, Pakistan
Telephone:
 +(92)(21) 3527-5000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(92)(21) 3527-5000
Fax: +(92)(21) 3561-2420
Email: 
Website: https://pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/karachi/

U.S. Consulate General Lahore
50, Shahrah-e-Abdul Hameed Bin Badees,
(Old Empress Road) near Shimla Hill Circle,
Lahore, Pakistan
Telephone: 
+(92)(42) 3603-4000
Fax: +(92)(42) 3603-4212
Email: 
Website: https://pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/lahore/

U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar
11 Hospital Road, Peshawar Cantt.20
Telephone: 
+(92)(91) 526-8800
Fax: +(92)(91) 527-6712
Website: https://pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/peshawar/
For Consular Services, please contact the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.

General Information

 

For information concerning travel to Pakistan, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see Pakistan country-specific information.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA). The report is located here.

 

 

 

Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. The government of Pakistan maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law.

Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Pakistan and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children's Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children's Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Website
Email: AskCI@state.gov

Parental abduction is a crime in Pakistan within limited parameters.  For information about Pakistani laws regarding parental abduction, please consult an attorney in Pakistan. 

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 

Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Pakistan and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children's Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.   Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Pakistan for information and possible assistance 

Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children's Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Pakistan are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, and the U.S. Consulates in Karachi and Lahore, Pakistan, each post a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law at:

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

Mediation

Mediation may be available for abduction cases.  Pakistan shares the chairmanship of the Working Party on Mediation in the context of the Malta Process, which is part of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.  If you are interested in learning more about mediation options, the central point of contact for international family mediation in Pakistan may be reached at:

Office of International Cooperation of International Family Law
Room No 313 "S" Block
M/o Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs,
Pak Secretariat,
Islamabad
Pakistan
Tel.: 051-9203053
contact@molaw.gov.pk

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Last Updated: September 11, 2018

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Islamabad
Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5 Islamabad, Pakistan
Telephone
+(92)(51) 201-4000 or +(92)(51)201-5000
Emergency
+(92)(51) 201-4000
Fax
+(92)(51) 233-8043

Pakistan Map