The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began on May 27, will come to an end at sundown on Sunday, June 25. During this time, operations in Pakistan may come to a virtual standstill as Muslims gather to pray and celebrate with family and friends. While practices vary by area, Eid al-Fitr celebrations are likely to have an impact on many businesses, stock exchanges, and services (including administrative services) that will close or significantly reduce their hours of operation on Sunday evening and potentially into Monday. As this period is typically marked by increased travel, heavy road traffic after sundown along with other transportation disruptions (crowded airports, etc.) is to be anticipated.
Eid al-Fitr celebrates the conclusion of 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting and remains one of the most important dates on the Muslim calendar. Generally speaking, the month of Ramadan is historically marred by a significant increase in terrorist threats and as such there is a potential for attacks to be carried out during Eid celebrations.
Nearly 96 percent of the Pakistani population is Muslim, 84 percent of which support sharia law, a legal code based on the Quran and other Islamic scripture, as official law of the land in their country.
Individuals in Pakistan are advised not to eat, drink or smoke in public by day during this period. Travelers are also advised to allow additional time for travel and to avoid any form of public demonstration or public gathering.
Due to the high threat of terrorism (as well as kidnapping and sectarian violence), individuals present in Pakistan are advised to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the relevant authorities. To reduce the risk of kidnapping, individuals should avoid falling into daily routines (i.e. vary the times and routes of travel) to avoid becoming a predictable and vulnerable target. Some Western governments advise their citizens against travel to Pakistan, where foreign nationals, in particular Westerners, may be directly targeted.
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