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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 4 Jun 2012
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Balochistan Latest??

Hi all,

Im in Esfahan at the moment and was planning on entering Pakistan in a couple of days...

The latest drone attacks by the US and the killings of Shia's in Quetta doesnt fill me with any more confidence....

What is your oppions on the area as it is at the moment.... Is this another flare up in the ever unstable region... Or something more problematic for me and my route.... Should i delay a few more days (cash pending)

Please give your oppinions and open for discussion?

Many thanks
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  #2  
Old 4 Jun 2012
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I went through there in November 2007, so no up-to-date info. But it seems not a whole lot has changed on one thing: almost everyone heading that way was thinking 'is it safe'. And back then there was declared a martial law just a couple of weeks before we crossed, certainly did not help with the nervousness. Luckily we met a couple of bikers in Bam, who'd ridden from India, and so they had very recent info.

Also might be good, if you could team up with some other overlanders heading the same way.. If you're still escorted east from Bam, there's a chance the police might put you together with other foreigners, if there are any around, so they won't have to escort each one separately. For us, escorts were very slow in Iran, much quicker and more relaxed in Pakistan (...could be very different now, though).
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  #3  
Old 4 Jun 2012
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Still not upto date but 2009 was as above.
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  #4  
Old 5 Jun 2012
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Thanks guys. Yeh trying to guage whether thw situation is any different than usual. As in does it pose more threat than usual for a solo foreigner in a very noticeble mitsubishi delica
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  #5  
Old 5 Jun 2012
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Im heading there in a a few weeks so interested in any developments

Hi

Im heading same way in a few weeks. I was hoping to avoid Quetta and travel along the souther coastal road to Karachi before heading north. I dont believe I can get through the border at Jiwani


There was talks between the two countries in relation to more crossing points:here

No idea if you can go this way but it looks a lot safer and easier than the usual Taftan - Quetta route.

more here

Im interested in how you obtained your Iranian visa. I believe I have to get invite within 90 days of end of visa prior to applying for visa which runs out at the end of this 90 days, is this correct?
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  #6  
Old 5 Jun 2012
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I havent been there myself lately but tourists are routinely crossing it bothways. After talking to some of them I presume it shouldnt be as bad as it appears. The biggest challenge is gonna be the heat; from Taftan till Multan it would be above 45 C.
Hope you have a good AC in the Delica.

Cheers
Omar
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  #7  
Old 5 Jun 2012
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This information is all from October 2010
I crossed alone as a single lady, from Lahore to Quetta (taking the normal sounthern route) DO NOT CUT ACROSS!

Through out Balochistan, your under police escort, they guys are slow but fun and friendly. At night they will help you find accommodation or you could camp at the police stations (or they might put you up at their house if you get stuck in the middle of no-where)

When I was in Quetta, I have a major engine problem. I was under complete police escort at all times when wanting to leave the hotel and I was also dressed like a Pakistan lady. This help me blend in somewhat.

While I was there, there were a few bombs attacks around the city, a few people got assassinated but overall, i never felt scared. The American drones, are not targeted to the tourist guesthouses or the motorcycle on the road.

Just down the road from the normal expensive guest house is a much cheaper and just as nice hotel called New Grand Hotel which cost about $5. The police will want to take you to the more expensive one, where you have to pay for parking too!

Overall - dont be scared of Pakistan - i loved it. Planned on being there for only one month, ended up staying for 6!

The only bad comments i have are for the police escort in Iran!

Have fun and keep the adventure alive!
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  #8  
Old 5 Jun 2012
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thanks all, currently in Kerman....

I emailed a tour group that specialises in overland tours through Pak/Afganhistan etc... They specialise however on the northern tribal regions (their company is based in Peshewar)

Their response:
"Andrew,

It is certainly possible to cross Baluchistan at the moment. A number of overlanders do it each year with no problem. You will be issued with security in Iranian Baluchistan (somewhere after Kerman) and then found by some Pakistani security when you enter the country. The Pakistani security will be very friendly but not particularly organised. They are really there to make sure you don't drive off the main roads and try and enter the more dangerous bits of Baluchistan or head towards the Afghan border. Anyone that has got in trouble in Baluchistan for the last few years has driven off the main road.


I cannot tell you what to do and I do not know what level of "risk" you are willing to take but if you are planning to self drive on India then I think that the risk you face in Baluchistan is much less than the risk of being in a car accident in India.


When in Lahore, I suggest you stay at Lahore Backpackers - call Sajjad and he'll make sure you find the place and somewhere to park - Lahore Backpackers


Hope that helps and if you have any further questions please feel free to get in touch."

So just gonna take it day by day... Ask hotels/police of the road ahead...

eeeekk
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  #9  
Old 5 Jun 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximondo View Post
I crossed alone as a single lady, from Lahore to Quetta (taking the normal sounthern route) DO NOT CUT ACROSS!
I believe this is good advice. The only overland-travellers, who I´ve heard about, that clearly have had safety-related problems in Pakistan during the past few years, were the Swiss couple, who were kidnapped, and if I´m not mistaken, this happened somewhere east from Quetta, an area, that should be off-limits for foreigners.

Also I´m not an expert, but I have some doubts about that southern route from Karachi towards the Iranian border (especially if it is security, that you´re primarily worried about.. for one, it certainly does not seem to be used a lot compared to Taftan-Quetta, so maybe there´s a reason for that.) And remember, foreigners can only cross at Taftan/Mir Javeh.
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  #10  
Old 5 Jun 2012
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It seems little has changed from 2006, when I crossed from Iran to Dalbadin and to Quetta. I stayed at hotel Bloomstar. Very good place, lots of parking and connections to a garage (brother of the owner). He sourced a deep 15 mm socket for me when I needed it. Located at:
Hotel Bloom Star coordinates hddd mm ss.s N30 11 21.2 E67 00 18.4

Enjoy Pakistan, it was one of the highlights of my trip. And that was during the Afghansitan war...
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  #11  
Old 14 Jun 2012
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Well im Lahore at the moment... Didnt have any problems in Baloch..... Had escorts nearly 100% of the way to Lahore... Had to stay 3 days in Quetta, whch as heavy metal... Bomb blasts nearly everyday i was there.... but i never saw anythinh
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  #12  
Old 7 Jul 2012
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According to the news, at least 18 people, bus passengers, killed yesterday by gunmen at a roadside restaurant in Turbat. That seems to be about 100 kms northeast from Gwadar (which is on the Arabian Sea coast), so it´s a couple hundred kilometers south from the Zahedan-Quetta route.
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  #13  
Old 7 Jul 2012
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Yeh read that aswell... Terrible... Basically if you go this route listen to the escorts and dont stray off the main road....

Once in Lahore I had one of the best few days of my trip
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  #14  
Old 9 Jul 2012
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I heard the borders to pakistan have finally closed for foreigners (Taftan and the Afgan border) on the 2th of july following this bus incident and another one at the trainstation in sibi.

Travel advisory: Govt issues list of ‘no go’ areas for foreigners – The Express Tribune

there is a bigger discussion on thorntree, worth a look if someone plans to go there.
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  #15  
Old 9 Jul 2012
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"The so-called “no-go” areas for foreign visitors in Balochistan include Pishin, Quetta, Bugti Agency, Kohlu Agency, Sibi district, 35 miles border area of Qilla Saifullah, Zhob Agency, Loralai.

The government has also declared Mosa Khel in Punjab and Bannu district and the special scanning border area of Dera Ismail Khan as off limits for foreigners."

Quetta and Sibi are on the most common route between Iran and India, so if there´s no entry to those areas, then maybe for overlanders that route is really cut off for now?
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