As many as 77 Japanese & over 30 Korean citizens have been trapped by an outbreak of sectarian violence in Gilgit-Baltistan, the Japanese Embassy in Islamabad said Friday.
The embassy said it has confirmed the safety of all the Japanese trapped in the area. With transportation networks cut and food running short at small hotels and other places, the embassy on Friday asked the Pakistani government to transport the Japanese nationals aboard military planes.
The embassy said the trapped Japanese include about 50 in Karimabad in the center of the Hunza region and about 20 in Gilgit.
According to a Japanese travel agency Nihombashi Travellers’ Club Co., more than 10 participants on a tour it organized to Pakistan are trapped on their way to Islamabad from Hunza.
All of them are staying at a hotel and nobody has complained of illness, the agency said.
Gilgit is a popular tourist destination as one of the main Pakistani jumping-off points for trekkers and climbers in the Karakoram and Himalaya mountain ranges.
According Embassies in Islamabad, tourists are mostly Japanese and Korean who visit the region during this season to enjoy the cherry blossom.
Officials of the Pakistan Association of Tour Operators (PATO) have appealed to the government to give special consideration to the tourists and help them leave the region safely.