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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 29 Mar 2003
usl usl is offline
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Safety In Pakistan?

Hi ;

I am in Shiraz now, waiting for a new battery and i met some people who are traveling from India and they told me they were not allowed to travel to Pakistan due to security reasons, especially for british citizens. So, they had to fly to Iran.

They were travelling with a truck.

They also mentione me that the border of India-Pakistan is closed for vehicles.

Any information on the subject ?

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  #2  
Old 30 Mar 2003
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Hi USL,
The Pakistani/Indian border has been closed for a while. But when I arrived at the Wagah side (Pakistan) last September (2002) they let me through without any porblems. Same at the Atari (Indian) side. Only foreigners were allowed through. This may change, of course. What I would do: I would go to the border and take my chances (of course with the rquired visas). If no go, ride up to Islamabad (one day's easy ride), and find a cargo flight to Katmandu or Bangladesh. Should not cost you too much.
Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 24 Apr 2003
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contact ian from the hubb community

he s brit, biker, works for the british council

safe travels
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  #4  
Old 26 Apr 2003
usl usl is offline
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Hi ;

A german lady who just came from Pakistan and travelling with a vehicle gave the following info ;

1 - Taftan-Quetta road is safe and by no means of any dangerous activity, except the usual pakistanian trafic.

2 - Quetta-Loirala road is under construction and in terrible condition. Continious bumps and huge dust.

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  #5  
Old 30 Apr 2003
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Hello people-travelling-to/in-Pakistan,

a few comments that might help :

- there has always been a lot of fuss about the Wagah/Atari border. First, this border has been open just very briefly (I believe end of 1999/beginning of 2000) for Pakistani and Indian nationals, and I guess this is part of the confusion. Apart from that, it has --as far as we know-- always been open for foreigners. Lots of mis-information circling about this border. EVEN (!) by Indian and Pakistani Embassies in other countries. A Swiss guy we met in Ladakh (Northern India) shipped his bike from Iran to Dubai and on to Mumbai because of the Indian Embassy in Teheran saying this border was closed. This was May or June 2002, at the height of the last tension between Pakistan and India. We crossed on 23 June and and recrossed on 12 August 2002. After June 23rd we were in Northern Pakistan for 6 weeks and met people every week who had just come accross from India with no problem whatsoever.
When we recrossed in August, we asked extensively at the Indian side if they EVER closed, and the answer was "no". Not on public holidays (not even on Independence Day), nor on any other day when the tension was running high. Not in 1999 (high tension in June/July), nor in 2002 (high tension in May/June, when we were in the area).
(besides: we even applied for our Indian visas in Islamabad when the Ambassador had been recalled to India and only a handful of staff were left in the immense building)

My advise : try to get LOCAL FIRSTHAND information e.g. as a message on the Thorn Tree on http:///www.lonelyplanet.com , or from others in the immediate area. Crossing by foot or by vehicle makes no difference : open = open.


- Taftan to Quetta is a good tarmac road except for a wandering dune at some 70 kms from the Taftan border. Sometimes the dune is small, sometimes it's huge and all traffic gets stuck.
WARNING :
1. do slow down for the speedbumps at the rialway crossings !!! They are massive and always two in a row on either side !
2. watch out for the metal wire hanging loose across the road WITHOUT any flags (!) at a checkpoint somewhere between Nushki and Kardagap.

Lodging is available at Taftan (PTDC, expensive for what it is), at Yakmach (small hotel on the road side), 20 kms beyond Dalbandin (on the road side, big new motel/restaurant type of building), and I think at Nushki.
Smuggled fuel from Iran is available all along, from big drums. Prices slowly rise towards Quetta. Last station is 12 kms before major cross road Karachi/Quetta. Quality is the same as in Iran : lowish octane, a bit dirty, but with not-too-high compression ratio and fuel filters installed in our fuel lines, we managed fine.


- Quetta to Loralai can be done via two roads :
1. via Ziarat : we rode this one in 1999 and it had some 150 kms of "river bed" type of road. Harsh ! Not sure if it's still in this state - they were working on it at the time.
2. via Muslim(a)bagh : that's the one we took now. Turn left at the checkpoint where you have to register in Kanai (straight/right is to Ziarat). 1 km after the truckstop of Qila Saifullah, you have to turn right to Loralai (straight on is to Zhob on the road which is not allowed for foreigners). All tarmac, most in good condition though sometimes narrow, and very beautiful.

From Quetta towards both of these roads :
- direction airport and Kandahar (direction Afghanistan)
- at km 25, turn right IN the main bazar (no signage)
- at km 52 = checkpoint Kanai : turn either left or straight/right (see above)
- at km 180 on "Muslim(a)bagh-road" there's the turn off to the right for Loralai.


But there's another 3 parts of the journey in eastern direction which you won't forget easily :
- the crossing of the Suleiman Range : very narrow, LOTS of trucks in either direction, some fast pick-ups driving you off the road. After having crossed this range three times now, we found these 30-40 kms the toughest and the most nerve recking in Pakistan;
- riding through the centre of Dera Ghazi Khan;
- and riding through Lahore (plus doing it in 45°C).
After surviving these, you're ready for India...

Good luck to all travelling in this beautiful and extremely friendly country !
Trui

------------------
Iris and Trui
2 belgian women, often travelling on motorbikes (now on DR650SE's)
2nd overland from home to Northern India and back, April-October 2002

[This message has been edited by iris_trui (edited 30 April 2003).]
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Iris and Trui
2 belgian women, often travelling on motorbikes (now on DR650SE\'s)
2nd overland from home to Northern India and back, April-October 2002
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  #6  
Old 3 May 2003
usl usl is offline
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Hi ;

Taftan-Quetta road : Up to 10 km. after Dalbandin quite wide and good but after that it gets really bad. Narrow and full of holes. Trucks are the biggest danger as they keep on driving towards you until the last seconds.

No gas station until Noshki. You have to buy in from the drums. But after Noushki quite ok.

info as of May '03


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  #7  
Old 17 May 2003
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hello
is taied in pak from december 2002 to march 2003
i put info on my website
http://vincent.danna.free.fr/
link "sur la route", "informations pratiques pour les autres voyageurs"

i felt safe but some regions, like tribal areas can not be, very nice people, plaied football with talibans

contact ian, ze big boss of the hubb community, he lives there

happy trails
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Vincent Danna

* www.va-project.com
Sept 2008 - dec 2009 : Voyage et art contemporain en Amérique du sud.

* http://vincent.danna.free.fr/
2002 - 2004 : Un tour du monde en moto.
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  #8  
Old 21 May 2003
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Hello All,

just a short update about Pakistan. We just crossed from India through Pakistan to Iran a few days ago.

Good info of Iris and Trui (see above). Thanks.

Most people very friendly and no real problems but in the area of Loralai we felt quite uncomfortable (some threatening gestures and a lot of "strange" people). I would try the route south via Sukkur next time.

Road condition:

Border India to Multan - very good and fast Highway
Multan to Fort Munro - OK but more narrow road
Fort Munro To Loralai - first 50 to 70 km's lots of roadworks with some "detours" on dirt/dust and some gravel roads - all dusty, bumpy but not difficult to ride - quite slow going - after that road to Loralai OK with only a few roadworks
Loralai To Quetta (north route not via Ziarat)- Narrow but OK
Quetta To Dalbandin - Narrow but OK to Good
Dalbandin to Taftan - Very good, mostly fast Highway

Petrol was never a problem. If you don't see it just ask and you will find some.

See you,
Ralf and Caroline
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  #9  
Old 15 Jun 2003
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Pakistani people were wonderful- even the police. I had a police escort complete with armed officers in the back of the pickup from DG Khan to Mekhtar. Don't know if they did this because I'm a lone female traveler or because they needed some excitement in their lives. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed it!
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