1. Exterior of the British High Commission compound
2. Exterior shot of the sign for the visa section, which normally has a large queue of people outside but is now empty
3. Various of the British High Commission and Pakistani security surrounding the compound
4. Barbed wire and satellite dish at British High Commission compound
5. Policeman walks to question camera crew outside British Council building
6. Various security outside British Council building
7. Saleem Ghan leaves gate of British Council compound
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Saleem Ghan, Communication Manager for the British Council in Islamabad
“There were no specific threats made as such, as I said, there was this overall security situation which we thought that we needed to look into and we decided to make appropriate arrangements accordingly, across Pakistan.”
9. Various of exterior of British Council

STORYLINE:

Britain has recalled some of its diplomats from Pakistan and urged its citizens to avoid travelling to the country, citing terrorist threats made against two British consulates.

U-K Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who plans to visit South Asia next week to try to ease tensions between India and Pakistan, said the diplomats, embassy and consulate staff and their families would leave Pakistan immediately.

He said the Foreign Office was advising against all but essential travel to Pakistan, and said that even then there should be a compelling reason to go and a guarantee of security.

As well as the diplomatic services, the British Council, which administers British cultural projects overseas, has closed all its offices in Pakistan.

The number of diplomats, staff and family members attached to the British High Commission, or embassy, in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, will be cut from about 210 to about 80, the Foreign Office said.

In Karachi, the number of staff and family members at the Deputy High Commission will be reduced from 36 to 10, and all 10 Britons attached to the Lahore Deputy High Commission will leave and the office will remain closed.

Straw declined to say who might be behind the threats, but cited recent attacks that have killed American and French nationals in Pakistan.

Like the United States, Britain has been the target of hostility from Muslim extremists in Pakistan for sending forces to neighbouring Afghanistan to drive out the Taliban government and Osama bin Laden.

A car bomb in Karachi killed 11 French engineers and three Pakistanis, including the presumed suicide bomber, on May 8. Two months earlier, four worshippers at a Protestant church in Islamabad, including a U-S Embassy employee and her 17-year-old daughter, were killed in a grenade attack.

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