ISLAMABAD, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan on Saturday advised its nationals not to travel to Syria due to violence there.
"In view of the deteriorating security situation in Syria, all Pakistani citizens particularly the 'zaireen' (pilgrims) are strongly advised not to travel to Syria," said the Foreign Ministry in a statement.
Those citizens who are already in Syria are urged to contact the Pakistan Embassy in Damascus for assistance, the statement said.
A number of Pakistanis travel to Syria every year for religious pilgrimage.
According to an official at the Pakistani embassy in Damascus, 600 to 700 Pakistanis live in Syria. He said most Pakistanis, including families, businessmen and students, live in the capital but there is a minimal presence in cities such as Homs and Latakia.
Pakistani officials had earlier said there are no reports of Pakistanis being affected in Syria.