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  #1  
Old 27 Mar 2012
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Pakistan Visa - Taftan Update!!!

Gday all,

Spoke to a chap at Travcour. I was enquiring about Pakistani visa, i said i was overlanding and planning on entering Pakistan from Iran at the Taftan border, and he had the following to say:
  • The Taftan border (as of a week ago or so) has been closed. Well at the very least for British travellers (I am an aussie)
  • He said there would still be a chance for aussies perhaps (traditionally it has been easier to aquire visa's as an aussie for Pakistan)
  • This is all due to the current political relationship between UK and Iran.
I asked, theoretically, if i was to fabricate an itinerary (i.e flying into Islamabad, exiting to India via Lahore) would it be possible to obtain the visa without restrictions (he thinks that perhaps if Taftan isnt mentioned at all and it appears as a straight fwd visa, there would be no need to add any restrictions to the visa)

I think i am going to show up to the embassy in London and try my luck, if not try via post in Australia?

I have had advice from others whom have been given Pakistani visas not to mention troubled areas in my itinerary. So what are other oppinions on this?

My other question would be. If i obtain a visa and rock up to the Taftan border, what are my chances of getting through on it? Are there any very recent updates on crossing at Taftan?

Thoughts please??

Cheers
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  #2  
Old 27 Mar 2012
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wuw that's bad news, i'm also having trouble getting the pakistan visa (german passport).

Are there any options to get to india other than crossing pakistan?
Are there flights? ferries?
Anyone done that?

i read about the dhow's leaving from uae/oman, which were used by Michael Palin (Palin's Travels: Dubai, UAE, Around the World in 80 Days, Day 16)
any recent experience with that?

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  #3  
Old 27 Mar 2012
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I have sources this shipping company for my van. I emailed and the replied nearly straight away saying they can do this service no probs?

https://sites.google.com/site/secosh...va-sheva-india

then id assume it would be plane for yourself from iran to india... Im still banking on getting a visa from Australia for Paki.... but this is the backup plan i think
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  #4  
Old 28 Mar 2012
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Hi Andrew,

Hopefully you will get your Pakistan visa like we did. And that situation permits to cross that border. Else, keep us in the loop about your shipping plans, we might be interested for that as well.

Cu along the way! (we'll be in Bulgaria today)

Roemer
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  #5  
Old 28 Mar 2012
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(Pure speculation, and I could be just plain wrong, too... )

but is there any official confirmation available, that the Pakistan - Iran (Taftan - Mir Javeh) border is actually closed?? I mean, it´s the only one, where foreigners are allowed to cross between these two countries, and therefore critical for the overland-route from Turkey to India, unless you make a detour north side of Afghanistan.... so closing it down completely would be no small news I think.

And if Pakistani government did not want British passport holders to come into their country any more, they could just stop issuing visas for them, right? (Besides, I thought the real problem for UK travellers would be to get a visa for Iran, not necessarily for Pakistan).
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  #6  
Old 28 Mar 2012
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This was the information from a chap at Travcour. So this is just from them, he said he had about 15 visas denied for UK passport holders because of the proposed itinerary entering at Taftan.

I went to the London consulate today and asked of any restrictions for Australian passport holders, and he said there wasnt. (Today was sussing it all out, not applying yet) However i didnt directly say taftan as entry. I said unsure at this stage, perhaps Islamabad. They told me to submit my documents and wait 5 days for processing. So not sure what has happened with Travcour

My father spoke to the embassy in Australia and they confirmed it was a simple process without restrictions. They advised to send everything from my Australian address and it should take around a week....They gave the impression that it was no probs.....

My only concern is still if i should put Taftan as my proposed entry point or just say im flying into Islamabad.?

Cheers
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  #7  
Old 28 Mar 2012
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There is absolutely no need or point to say anything about your plans, just tell them you fly into Islamabad. The visa will be the same when you get it, and you can then enter where you wish. I'm entering by road from India, but when I applied for my visa, I said I was flying into Islamabad, your visa does not specify port of entry.
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  #8  
Old 28 Mar 2012
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Pakistan visas - Taftan

Hi Andrew, Where are you at the moment - somewhere in India? I'm in Multan heading south to the Iran border. I've been told that on the next section to Quetta I might have to take a 400km detour and go via Jacobabad but that's not confirmed yet. Will know in the next day or so if it's really the case.

Sorry to hear so many people are having trouble getting visas for Pakistan. I got mine through the Embassy in Canberra without any problems a few months ago and my wife got hers in only three days just a week ago. We noted on the application we were going to Islamabad, Lahore and a couple of other places & gave hotel names.

I've just done the KKH (not on my bike) and had a police escort part of the way. Several security checks & 3 landslides out of Gilgit which meant detours otherwise encountered no real problems. To date have only been met with fantastic hospitality and the friendliest people. That's not to say there won't be challenges ahead, but if the rest of Pakistan is anything to go by I'm looking forward to the next stage.

I'll post again if anyone needs more information regarding the border crossing or you can catch me on my blog at Old Bloke on a Bike | Travels of an old guy on an old bike, from one side of the world to the other

Cheers, Ron
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Old 28 Mar 2012
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Pakistan visa - Taftan

Sorry, meant to address my last post to Uselessbaba, not Andrew as I know you haven't left yet. Duh!

Ron
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Old 29 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldblokeonabike View Post
I've been told that on the next section to Quetta I might have to take a 400km detour and go via Jacobabad but that's not confirmed yet.
This certainly used to be the case some time ago; Dera Ghazi Khan-Loralai-Quetta "no-go" area for foreigners.... and I think the Swiss couple, who were kidnapped, (and who either escaped, or were payed a heavy ransom, but anyway were freed just a couple of weeks ago, were passing through that area). Normally the police won´t even allow you to enter the areas considered dangerous, I don´t know, why they were there in the first place.

The somewhat dodgy areas won´t end in Taftan, you´re likely to have escorts in southeastern Iran, too, all the way until Bam actually. For us, it was much, much slower to move with the police in Iran, than it was in Pakistan, and in fact the police were controlling our movement much more closely in Iran, than they were in Pakistan.
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  #11  
Old 29 Mar 2012
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Pakistan visa - Taftan

Thanks pecha72 - good to have this confirmed from a seasoned traveller like yourself. Makes sense to stick with an escort.

Ron
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  #12  
Old 31 Mar 2012
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I've also applied for my visa in the UK and have been told that I may not get the visa if I put Taftan as my exit point on my itinerary. I know this post isn't of much help at the moment but I'll update when I get any more info.....or a visa.
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Old 1 Apr 2012
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Putting Taftan as an entry point implies an overland passage which the embassy does not like (security issues and expense being a couple of reasons). I don't believe for one second that Taftan is closed, but I have been wrong before I've crossed at Taftan twice myself but not for 2 years.
Tell them you're flying into Islamabad and the using internal flights/Daewoo's to get around (up to Hunza).

Cheers
Pete
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  #14  
Old 1 Apr 2012
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I understand the expense problem is a big issue:

Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan
'Tourist given massive security from Iran border to Quetta

By Mohammad Zafar

QUETTA: A lone tourist on a motorbike who entered Pakistan from Iran via the Taftan border was provided massive security right from the Pakistan-Iran border to the Balochistan capital of Quetta.

The tourist was escorted by a van of Balochistan Levies personnel from the Taftan border to the Kuchaki Levies post, located at the border with the Naushki district, from where he was taken to Mastung and finally to Quetta, completing a 635-kilometre long journey on motorbike.

It was the policy of the provincial government to escort all tourists and caravans of Shias from Quetta to Taftan following incidents of terrorists attacking and killing dozens of innocent people on the highway.

The longest distance of 450 kilometres started at Taftan and ended at Kuchaki at the border with the Naushki district.

The 90-kilometre distance from the border of Mustang to Quetta was was covered by another team of Balochistan Levies personnel.

The Chagai district administration spent more than Rs 10,000 on POL charges escorting the lone tourist on motorcycle, covering more than 450 kilometres in a single day while the district administrations of Naushki, Mastung and Quetta spent less money.

The lone tourist, who had a German nationality, refused to take an armed Levies guard as his escort or a pillion rider, forcing the administration to detail a team of Levies personnel as his escort, performing the duties of a pilot.

Dalbandin SDM Shahwani checked the escort in order to ensure that the German tourist had been given proper security. He followed the Levies escort for some distance on the RCD Highway.

The huge cost of fuel was born by the district administration.

When asked about the expenses, an official claimed that the provincial government was paying a meagre amount of Rs 200,000 per month for POL consumed escorting hundreds of caravans and tourists in this district of Chagai.

Interestingly, petrol pump owners had refused to provide POL to the district administration, as it had failed to clear a liability of over four million rupees.

The provincial government is asking for security escorts for caravans headed to religious places in Iran and also to foreign tourists passing through and is reluctant to clear the liabilities of petrol pump owners at the same time.

The provincial government is paying two hundred thousand rupees to each district of Chagai, Naushki and Mastung for security escorts, though the Chagai District is covering the longest distance of around 450 kilometers of the RCD Highway.

Sooner or later, the Chagai administration will have to discontinue escorts for caravans or foreign tourists passing through the district which borders both Iran and Afghanistan.'
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