Islamabad can be a fairly safe place to visit.  Having said this, there are certain precautions that should be taken in order to ensure a smooth trip through the capital city of Pakistan.  Like always, common sense is the most important tool to be used in staying safe.

            Pickpockets are not a major problem in Islamabad, but they have been known to hit unsuspecting tourists in certain areas.  Be aware that the prime spots for pickpockets are crowded, public areas such as train and bus stations, as well as markets.

            Demonstrations, protests and mass gatherings occur in major public areas.  Avoid these situations as they can be dangerous.

            There are certain diseases and illnesses that can be dangerous in Pakistan.  Make sure to consult a doctor a few months before departing to ensure having gotten the proper vaccinations and immunizations. 

            Avoid walking alone at night (especially women).  This is a general recommendation for any unfamiliar area, but should be followed in Islamabad as well.  If staying with a group is not an option and walking is unavoidable, try to remain in lighted, public areas.

            Dress for men and women should be conservative.  No shorts or tank tops.  Women should cover their arms and legs.

<>           Special safety issue for women: Be careful. Expect men to cut in line in front of you. Don't protest -- You'll only cause yourself grief. Do not look anyone directly in the face when walking around. Look at the ground. Don't go expecting people to tolerate that you are a western woman and perhaps ignorant of their rules and don't even realize what you are doing is considered inappropriate for women. I had a few scary experiences. In private, people are very kind and expressive and lovely. But in public, generally expect to follow the rules. Islamabad is considered a religious center with a much smaller ratio of women to men, so intolerance of western women's ways is the norm. Pakistan is a very lovely country with mountains, forests, etc., as well as desert. 

            Do not drink water from the tap.  Always drink bottled water. 

            A very useful resource for traveling through Pakistan is this List of Useful Phone Numbers.

            Many countries have foreign embassies located in Islamabad (the capital city of Pakistan), or somewhere else in the country.  For a complete list, including contact and location information, check out this Foreign Embassies List.