The United States on Friday issued an advisory to its citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Pakistan, saying terrorist groups pose a threat to them in the country. The fresh travel warning replaces an earlier one issued on May 22.

“Pakistan continues to experience significant terrorist violence, including sectarian attacks,” the Department of State said in a statement. “Targeted attacks against government officials, humanitarian and non-governmental organization employees, tribal elders, and law enforcement personnel are common...Terrorists have targeted US diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past, and evidence suggests they continue to do so.”

The department said if the citizens choose to travel to Pakistan despite the warning, they should take measures to minimise duration of trips to public markets, restaurants and other locations. “Minimise the number of US/western nationals congregating in any one location at any time...Take a photo of your passport, entry stamp, and Pakistani visa, and keep it with you at all times,” it said.

Terrorist organisations operating in country have not discriminated between government officials and civilians, it added.

The warning comes after China too warned its citizens in Paksitan of a series of imminent “terrorist attacks” on Chinese targets in the country. The Chinese embassy in Islamabad on Friday warned all “Chinese-invested organisations and Chinese citizens to increase security awareness, strengthen internal precautions, reduce trips outside as much as possible, and avoid crowded public spaces”.