Destination Information for Pakistan
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, more commonly referred to as Pakistan, is in South Asia, and the sixth most populous country in the world. In recent years, political instability and risks of violence has meant that much of the country is not recommended for tourists, despite the bounty of attractions that Pakistan has to offer.
From natural beauty and stunning landscapes to significant historical sites, fascinating buildings and welcoming local people, there is plenty to discover here. Pakistan is one of only a few countries in the world with such a diverse landscape, including areas of sea, beach, desert, green mountains, dry mountains, ice-covered mountains, agricultural land, rivers, waterfalls and forests.
Most visitors to the country stay within the Sindh region to the south, and the former capital city of Karachi, now the financial capital and largest city of Pakistan. The federal capital, Islamabad, is a much newer city towards the North, close to the Margalla Hills.
From trekking and hiking enthusiasts who head to the renowned mountainous regions of the North, to those more interested in the culture and cuisine of Pakistan who prefer to remain in the cities and towns, Pakistan is a diverse and fascinating country, offering something to satisfy every kind of traveller.
It has been found that some water companies were producing bottled water that was contaminated. In response, the government tasked the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) with monitoring and improving the quality of bottled water.
The PCRWR has published findings of the January-March 2015, quarterly monitoring report.
- Seven cities were targeted for montoring: Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Siakot, Tando Jam.
- 71 brands of bottled water were tested, of 63 were deemed overall safe to drink.
- The following 8 brands were overall deemed unsafe to drink: Al-Haider, Aqua Safe, Al-Sana, Butt, Days Pure, Drop Ice, Effort and Noble.
- 5 of the 8 were chemically unsafe due to Arsenic, Potassium, and Sodium: Al-Haider, Aqua Safe, Al-Sana, Days Pure and Noble.
- 3 of the 8 brands were microbiologically unsafe: Butt, Drop Ice and Effort.
Advice for Travellers
Travellers to Pakistan are advised to maintain a high standard of food/water precautions and personal hygiene. Carbonated liquids are generally thought to be safe, however, travellers are advised to inspect any bottles of water that are purchased, checking that seals are intact and that the water is visibly clean. Bottled water should be bought from a reliable source whenever possible and the unsafe brands in this report should be avoided.
Malaria and regions within country:
There is a high risk of P.Falciparum malaria in all parts of the country below 2000m, including Islamabad, Karachi and Hyderabad. (See map above).
Anti-malarial medication is not generally advised for low to no risk zones.
Malaria chemoprophylaxis for high risk zones:
If all other anti-malarials are not deemed suitable, Chloroquine plus Proguanil can be used but it is less effective.