Hundreds of insecure foreign diplomats planning emergency evacuation from Islamabad

July 8th, 2008 - 12:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad , July 8 (ANI): Considering the volatile situation erupting in Pakistan , the foreign envoys living in Islamabad are said to be readying an emergency evacuation plan, especially after Sundays blast at the Melody Market in Islamabad where most envoys frequent for shopping.

They said that more measures were required to ensure their safety.

Quoting reports in two leading Pakistani dailies, The Australian reported that hundreds of diplomats in Islamabad were discussing plans for emergency evacuations, in case need arose. For most countries represented in Islamabad , including Australia , the city is already a non-family diplomatic post, said the paper.

Sources said further measures were required to protect the foreign diplomats in the light of increasingly dangerous and politically fraught situation, 100 days after the country held its historic general election in March.

Reports said plans for the emergency evacuation of diplomats were drawn up when western embassies noticed unusual night-time activities of militants, some of whom had left messages against the foreigners and the Pakistani security forces in graffiti chalked on walls warning of (imminent) attacks.

Confirming the heightened security measures, one diplomat said reportedly: We have been advised to avoid going to market places, public parks, restaurants and other places.

In the wake of the prevailing insecure environment in Pakistan , several foreign missions are learnt to have significantly reduced their staff, while others have abandoned their embassies and moved into heavily fortified hotels, added the paper. (ANI)

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