U.S. Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, Evacuated
Non-essential personnel have been removed from the U.S. consulate in Lahore, Pakistan’s second city, located in the northeastern part of the country. This seems to be a similar decision to the removal of personnel from the U.S. embassy in Yemen earlier this week, but ABC’s Dana Hughes reports that the threat is not necessarily related to the larger al-Qaeda threats that have shut down American diplomatic facilities around the region this week; there are “specific threats” that are local to the Lahore consulate. “We are still digging and trying to trace whether it is related,” one official told CNN. “I’m not willing to say it’s related, but can’t say it is unrelated. We just don’t have that level of granularity yet.”
The staff in Yemen were transported to Germany, while the Lahore staff have only been moved to Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital. The State Department’s updated warning on Thursday evening explained that the department “ordered this drawdown due to specific threats concerning the U.S. Consulate in Lahore.”
No diplomatic posts in Pakistan were closed in response to the al-Qaeda threats that closed 22 facilities across the Middle East and Africa this week, though that’s likely in part because the U.S. facilities in the country, like the embassies in Iraq and Afghanistan that have re-opened, are well-fortified, after a long history of attacks on them.