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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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  #61  
Old 11 Sep 2009
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Originally Posted by nico-la-vo View Post
I used this thread quite a lot before entering Pakistan from Iran. Now we have just left Pakistan maybe I can contribute a little.

No-one in their right mind should be worried about Iran, the government there are a little odd undoubtedly but the people are lovely and welcoming and really no threat at all. Even the police are great, we had tea at the side of the road with them. The only excuse for not going to Iran is not getting a visa.

Pakistan is a little different as there clearly are some troubles there but again we have nothing but praise. The Pakistan leg of our journey has been the best so far, and particularly Baluchistan. The people were amazing, no sign of trouble. We did have escorts for the majority of our time there and they did drive haphazardly but that was o.k. I would love to go back there and would do so without hesitation. There is a risk but it is small, it is nothing like as big a risk as driving on Indian roads which we are now having to content with. This truly is dangerous.
I completly agree.
Whe had the same experiance end 2008 traveling from Holland to Nepal.
Iran: Super frendly,
Pakistan: Verry poor but also frendly
India: Frendly but driving is somtimes hell,
Nepal: Paradise....
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  #62  
Old 12 Sep 2009
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It's quite heartening to read positive reports from people on the ground, however my case here (against my family and friends who are convinced I am suicidal) is not helped by the latest kidnap of a Greek national in Pakistan on the 8th of September... http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-...ySecurity&pg=2

Unfortunately it takes a couple of bad incidents to smear an entire country, especially for countries that westerners don't know and therefore fear.

Thanks for the information so far, please keep it coming! Hope to be able to add some live info later this year - planning to be in Iran/Pakistan in November/December 2009 (if the Pakistanis entertain my 2nd visa application...)

Alexandros
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  #63  
Old 13 Sep 2009
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There was a kidnapping case of a French tourist a few months ago. 2 or 3 cars that went West from Dalbadin ... one of the people was taken. Is there an update on that anywhere?
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  #64  
Old 13 Sep 2009
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Hi, we did get up the Karokaram, it is still open but most definitley under construction, most of it has been torn up and the Chinese are rebuilding it, frequent waits due to them blowing up a section of clliff and then having to clear it etc but still really really good despite all the dust.

There seems very little news on the frenchman kidnapped a few months ago, when we were there a police officer told us ransom demands had been made but cant find news anywhere of this to confirm. Its bad news if this has happened again though I would be suprised if it had happened to an overlander as we were escorted virtually te entire length of the country (though not on KKH).
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  #65  
Old 13 Sep 2009
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Originally Posted by nico-la-vo View Post
Hi, we did get up the Karokaram, it is still open but most definitley under construction, most of it has been torn up and the Chinese are rebuilding it, frequent waits due to them blowing up a section of clliff and then having to clear it etc but still really really good despite all the dust.

There seems very little news on the frenchman kidnapped a few months ago, when we were there a police officer told us ransom demands had been made but cant find news anywhere of this to confirm. Its bad news if this has happened again though I would be suprised if it had happened to an overlander as we were escorted virtually te entire length of the country (though not on KKH).

I think now it's a lot harder in terms of riding alone, but when I did it, I crossed from Iran and didn't see and escort until we got into DG Khan. We got intercepted by the police and they stayed with us till we were put on the road to Peshawar a few days later. From then on, there was no escort issue at all. I've heard it all changed... sad really. I got an escort from Zahedan to the border, then nothing all the way to DG Kahn. Glad you were able to make it up the KKH. I stayed in Minapin for a few days as well and hiked to the Rakaposhi basecamp etc. God I miss that country... what a wonderful place to be....
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  #66  
Old 14 Sep 2009
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Pakistan security

French tourist released 21 aug, probably some ransom paid.from BBC Websites My experience is that the security situation is very unstable and unpredictable. The police do run escorts of foriegners when they feel this may be necessary, and they are usually overcautious. Some, in Punjab were highly trained professional bodyguards/gunmen, whilst others were local police schlepping their way through their day, with nerve-wracking firearms discipline. The people I met, no kidnappers, were very friendly, and did not hold an individual tourist responsible for their governements involvement in the Afghan conflict. There was a lot of resentment about the use of drones to attack mudbrick villages in the mountains though.
If you drive with an escort you will never know if it was really necessary, they are usually a pain in the ass, and just want to get you off their patch. I think we have to see them as a necessary annoyence, it is only a very small part of a long journey with these restriction.
Peter, in Oslo
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  #67  
Old 14 Sep 2009
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Safe, I think

I just went the same route. I'm in India now. I had the best time in Iran and especially Pakistan (Juli / August). You can find out all about my experiences by checking my online diary. Open-Explorers | 210 | 2 wheels 1 world 0 money If you have any additional questions or need contact numbers, etc. let me know. Have a good trip.
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  #68  
Old 14 Sep 2009
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French tourist released 21 aug, probably some ransom paid.from BBC Websites
Thanks! Glad to see that ended well.
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  #69  
Old 19 Sep 2009
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Hi There. I am in Nepal now after some looong hard rides in India from bangladesh and YES, the roads in eastern , middel India would put and hardcore bike of the limits. Unbelivable. Ok stay on the main roads daytime works but then take shortcuts and nightmare starts. After traveling a lot over the years it is just a laugh to see the roads and the traffic in India.
Just love to hear the good and nice talk of Pakistan and Iran where I will be in a few weeks from now. Rain or not, hot or not, escorts or not- thats life on the road. Just cope with it and have a smile.
Manne
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  #70  
Old 1 Oct 2009
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Zahedan "dangerous"

FYI

In correspondence with the Greek embassy in Tehran, I got told:

[...]we also require from the applicant to also sign a form stating that they have
been fully briefed by our Consular Section on the hazards of road travel
to Pakistan (theft,kidnapping etc) since such travel is not recommended at
all especially if you cross from the dangerous area of Zahedan.
[...]

Interesting, since as far as I'm aware Zahedan-Taftan is the only way of entering Pakistan from Iran...

Any idea why they're pointing the finger to Zahedan?

Thanks,

Alexandros
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  #71  
Old 1 Oct 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apapadop View Post
FYI

In correspondence with the Greek embassy in Tehran, I got told:

[...]we also require from the applicant to also sign a form stating that they have
been fully briefed by our Consular Section on the hazards of road travel
to Pakistan (theft,kidnapping etc) since such travel is not recommended at
all especially if you cross from the dangerous area of Zahedan.[...]

Interesting, since as far as I'm aware Zahedan-Taftan is the only way of entering Pakistan from Iran...

Any idea why they're pointing the finger to Zahedan?

Thanks,

Alexandros
There have been a few kidnappings in Zahedan. Also, there are two factions at war near the border on the Iranian side. Neither is an issue, because when you arrive in Zahedan, the police will be called anyways by the hotel (they have to) and you'll be attached to an officer for the time you are there, then handed off to an escort to the border. Expect to arrive at the border at noon or 1 PM if you leave at 6 am. I was hoping to make time to Dalbadin, but I got there only at 8 PM.. The police will help you buy gas in Zahedan. There is one gas station for taxis. The others are mostly empty as most gas is smuggled to Pakistan. There are off-license sellers. You won't find them as a tourist but the cops will help. It all sounds weird but it'll be perfectly normal when you're there. Enjoy your trip! It's a blast.
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  #72  
Old 2 Oct 2009
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One more option is to skip Zahedan an stay a night in Taftan.

Taftan is not a perfect () place to stay, but it allows you to start the next day verry early driving to i.e. Quetta. We did it end 2008 and you can see the movies and read the story on Going East - Home

Enjoy!
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  #73  
Old 1 Nov 2009
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Has anyone crossed in the past couple of weeks? I've heard that the situation is beginning to hot up and am due to cross from Iran to Pakistan in around a month by 4x4. The targets appear to be Intelligence and military but would like to hear of anyone's experiences. Also I expect the escorts to be mandatory and fairly lengthy through Pakistan by now, is this the case? Regards, Matt.
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  #74  
Old 2 Nov 2009
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Well the FCO bad-news-alerts are certainly increasing in frequency... latest explosion today again claimed a few lives. http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-...eania/pakistan

I'm planning to enter Pakistan from Iran also in about a month from now, so will be closely monitoring this thread for any advice from the ground.

Alexandros
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  #75  
Old 7 Nov 2009
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Just been through Pakistan

Dear All,

By no means a guide to anyone else - just our experience. We are in a 4x4 and travelled with another couple in a 4x4. We were escorted from Bam in Iran through to the border and by the time we had faffed about with different escorts managed to get into Pakistan by 4pm. We stayed in the customs house carpark in Taftan and were advised not to go out at night.

We got to Dalbandin the next day and were taken to a prison to stay. We said we would try our luck with the hotel and stayed in their carpark instead for 100 rupees.

Next day Quetta - Bloomstar hotel has a carpark that overlanders can stay in. The day we arrived the education minister had been killed in Quetta so security was tight. Again, we were told not to go out on the street by the hotel and police.

We went out during the day and I would say the reception from people is mixed - some pleased to see you, some indifferent.

The journey from Quetta to Lahore was police and armed escort all the way. We were not allowed to stop and sleep in the vehicle at any hotel and had top stay in police stations. This was not a pleasant experience.

We ended up at the PDTC motel in Wagah at the border. This was fine.

We were pleased to cross the border.

I am unaware of what danger, if any we were in because it is hard to be objective in that situation. We were not free to do much apart from drive. I do know that the universities, schools and colleges had been shut for a few days when we got to Quetta due to concerns for terrorist attacks, although some say that the gov't is concerned about potential uprisings and so on.

We ended up in transit which was nto what we wanted, but we got through and are enjoying India!

Sorry not to be more positive, but that's the state of play.

Jo
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