US Withdraws Staff From Lahore, But What’s the Threat?

City Has Rarely Been Target of Terror Attacks

The US State Department has followed up on yesterday’s decision to withdraw most of its personnel from the US Consulate in Lahore warning Americans against travel to Pakistan, citing the threat of “foreign and indigenous terrorist groups.

Early analysis has tried to attribute this to the violence in Pakistan and in particular recent attacks by militants in Quetta, but this doesn’t make a lot of sense, since Quetta is 600+ miles away, and the consulates in Peshawar and Karachi, much closer to Quetta, remain entirely open.

The official explanation for Lahore’s closure is “threats” but the nature of those threats remain entirely unclear, and while much of Pakistan is constantly awash in violence, Lahore has rarely seen attacks of any significance.

Though various Pakistani Taliban factions have had designs on Lahore, that’s true of most cities in Pakistan, and while every other place the US has offices in Pakistan has seen major attacks, Lahore hasn’t. The nature of the threat remains entirely a mystery.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of