Islamabad, July 21: Pakistan Saturday advised its nationals not to travel to Syria due to the deteriorating security situation in the Middle East country.
“In view of the deteriorating security situation in Syria, all Pakistani citizens, particularly the pilgrims are strongly advised not to travel to Syria,” Xinhua quoted the foreign ministry as saying in a statement.
Pakistani citizens who are already in Syria were urged to contact the country’s embassy in Syrian capital Damascus for assistance.
Every year, a number of Pakistanis travel to Syria for pilgrimage.
According to an embassy official, 600 to 700 Pakistanis are currently living in Syria.
Most of them, including businessmen and students, live in the capital but there is also a small presence in cities such as Homs and Latakia.
According to the UN, around 16,000 people have died in Syria since the start of the people’s uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March last year.