The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are flying to Pakistan to begin their five-day royal tour, but considering the previous terrorist attacks and earthquakes, the question on everyone's lips remains: is Pakistan safe for royals and tourists alike?
Prince William and Kate, both 37, plan to meet as many Pakistanis as possible from 14-18 October in what has been described as their most challenging tour to date, largely due to security concerns. Although they are undertaking the tour at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the website continues to advise tourists not to travel to certain areas unless absolutely necessary. It warned about the high threat of terrorist attacks and kidnapping in areas such as Islamabad and Lahore, where the royal couple is visiting. Both the terrorist attack in Pulwama back in February and the recent earthquake at the end of September have heightened concerns for those considering a visit.
Despite these issues, the FCO reassured that "most visits are trouble-free" and British Airways recently resumed direct flights to Islamabad which could be a sign of the decreasing threat. William and Kate's security team will also be on high alert, with more than 1,000 police expected to protect the couple. They plan on better understanding "the complex security picture in Pakistan" and the royal tour "will largely focus on showcasing Pakistan as it is today – a dynamic, aspirational and forward-looking nation."
The Lahore Fort in Pakistan.
With so many beautiful places to visit and an increasing focus on safety, perhaps it will become a more attractive holiday destination. Whether it's soaking up culture with a visit to the petal-shaped Pakistan Monument overlooking Islamabad, taking in the beauty of the Lahore Fort, or enjoying the stunning views while trekking the Karakorams, there are plenty of stunning attractions to draw tourists to the area. From white water rafting to yak safaris, Pakistan is a nature-lovers dream come true! And the Duke and Duchess will squeeze in as much as possible during their trip, with plans to explore "the modern leafy capital Islamabad, to the vibrant city of Lahore, the mountainous countryside in the North, and the rugged border regions to the West."
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore.
While this week marks William and Kate's first official visit to Pakistan, they follow in the footsteps of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall who travelled to Pakistan in 2006, as well as Princess Diana who visited in 1991.