Truely how safe is it to travel to Pakistan?
Replies: 28 - Last Post: Jun 23, 2013 11:54 PM Last Post By: dimitrof
Feb 8, 2012 10:56 PM
Truely how safe is it to travel to Pakistan?Am a male, 21 year old Canadian from British Columbia planning a trip this July to northern Pakistan in the Karakorum Range.
Will be dealing with Vertical Explorers touring company doing the Grand Karakorum Traverse, but still am concerned about how safe it is to travel into Pakistan.
Was talking to two geologists I work with who are from Karachi and they both told me it is still very dangerous to travel into Pakistan.
They basically said it is a major gamble.
How true is this? How dangerous will it be for me, a westerner to fly into Islamabad?
Are the chances of running into rebel groups in the northern mountains high?
What can anyone tell me about the saftey issues of travelling into Pakistan? I basically had little worries until I spoke with these two geologists..
Feb 8, 2012 11:48 PM
1The chances of running into "rebels" in the mountains between Hunza and Skardu (the way you will travel on the great Karakorum traverse) are 0.
The chances of running into "rebels" in the hills and mountains South East of Peshawar or in the border hill areas east of Dir are very high.
City boys from Karachi or Lahore will often just assume all mountainous areas in Pakistan are the same.
Pakistan is a vast, diverse country. Some areas are not very safe, some are absolutely fine. The areas you will be trekking is one of those. You will either be in Ismaili areas (Hunza) or Shi'a areas (Baltistan) and neither of these groups has any history of violence against the government. (I know that Pakistan is much more complex than a simple religious split).
Ask your geologist friends what they know about the Ismaili's of Hunza, the Balti of Baltistan and if they can give any examples of people running into trouble with the people of those regions or whether they are rich guys from the city who consider all people from the mountains to be dangerous.
Vertical Explorers are a well known company who take trekkers and climbers to Baltistan every year and never have any problems of the type you are concerned about.
What you are doing is not a light undertaking. The Biafo-Hispar trek is remote and you'll be roped up much of the way due to crevases. Crossing from Concordia via the Gondogoro La is also risky, porters died in a rock slide last year on this section of the route.
These are the real risks, the risk of violence from any anti-government force is miniscule by comparison.
Feb 9, 2012 1:58 AM
2The local driving habits on high mountain roads are somewhat alarming. If your vehicle is stopped by a rock fall or similar, get out and walk around the obstacle rather than stay in the vehicle with the driver as he manoeuvres on the edge of the precipice.
But otherwise you'd be mad to miss the experience of northern Pakistan.
Feb 9, 2012 6:45 AM
Feb 9, 2012 9:16 PM
Feb 10, 2012 5:34 AM
Feb 11, 2012 9:01 AM
6Just to reiterate what everyone has said. Yes it is safe now. I'm in Islamabad at the moment, and it feels very safe here. It's my 3rd time here, and I have been here in peaceful times and troubled ones. This feels like a good time to be here.
As strange as it may sound to people who have never been in Pakistan. Pakistan is one of the safest countries to travel. My point is, what is reported in the Press and what is happening here--any similarity, is purely coincidental!
talk2u!! The past few days I was touring Karachi, Mohenjodaro and Sukkur and had an opportunity to meet locals there. I was shocked at how they were not aware the geography of Pakistan. This is the friendliest country I've ever been into. It is warm with charm, hospitality, and welcoming faces. People almost got killed rushing to get across roads to greet me! People offered me their food, drink because I was a guest. Gifts were offered, accommodation and addresses offered. I cannot speak too highly of Pakistan. This is one of the best kept secret places to visit. I hope it ever gets overrun by tourists, as I think it would spoil it!
You will have a fantastic time; it's lovely out here at the moment.
Feb 11, 2012 7:09 PM
7most of the ppl from Karachi and south do not know where K 2 is and where is Chitral, Gilgit deosai. they will think it is in peshawar or in tribal areas. Once a visa officer ask me, how close skardu from Quetta. he was thinking that skardu is close to Quetta. I told him Skardu is in north and Queta is in south.
ask these geologist that they went to skardu chitral or gilgit in their life. if they went than they had said how safe it is. Surely they not that is why are telling the security situation of tribal areas to you and scaring for the safest part of pakistan.
Feb 11, 2012 8:44 PM
May 25, 2012 10:24 AM
9Just got back having done an organized tour to the north which was fab, nobody had any interest in me unless I wanted to make conversation or take a photo....Pakistan is fab and I wish I was still there. Go and enjoy :)
While Traveling to Pakistan Do's and Don'ts
• Live up to the proper dress code maintaining decency and decorum at a place of worship. While in a mosque one must cover her head with a cloth.
• It is sensible to cover yourself with proper travel insurance for thefts or any kind of loss.
• Dispose of your rubbish in a proper way, by not littering roads, streets and public places.
• Make it a point to exchange money only through authorized banks or certified moneychangers.
• You are strictly prohibited to enter a mosque, tomb, or holy site with your shoes on.
• Do not give indulgence to the beggars by conferring them with money or other articles.
• Avoid public show of personal affection, particularly while in smaller cities and villages.
• Avoid leaving your cash and valuables in your hotel rooms while you go out for sightseeing or any other purpose. Distribute your cash in different pockets.
• Do not drink water from any unknown source. Strictly stick to drinking bottled water only.
• Do not take photographs women without their consent.
May 26, 2012 1:48 AM
10Thanks chessmaniac for sharing first hand info with fellow travelers,however we am glade that you liked Pakistan.Most welcome again anytime.
Jun 14, 2012 9:36 AM
Jun 14, 2012 9:43 AM
Jun 21, 2012 12:14 AM
Feb 14, 2013 3:04 AM
I've just posted a similar thread few days ago.All I got was about the same like here how safe it is. I just wonder, if you all tell safe it is what about this then http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/asia-oceania/pakistan and the media. ok, I studied media and know all the buls.hit around it, don't trust it much but still, the attacks on foreigners are not made up. especially now in december. also, no new guidebook editions since 2008.
I just would like to hear realistic opinions considering different risks or even rather recent experience than just confirmations. Don't take me wrong, just don't want to make a stupid decision either way. Pakistan draws me extremely but don't know if it's reasonobale and responsible and should wait. I'm well experienced in risky places and very adventurous however still not a complete "adrenalin maniac" and my feeling the ones who are advising Pakistan as a safe destinations are rather adrenalin seekers who just might have been lucky... Also, the situation has been changing quickly over the past months so very recent experience would be very much appreciated!
Many thanks if you have any information especially on the route wahga border-islamabad-kkh to china. two of us. can we go on our own at all?
I know the risk varies depending on in what region you are in. But still, how far is Peshawar (which is supposed to be risky) from the KKH? I was trying to find some good map with all the problematic areas mentioned but did not really succeed. I understand the tribal areas, balochistan are a bummer. what about the route we would take from india to china? what about safety in big cities like lahore, islamabad?
Cheers and many thanks again and please don't eat me for this post and apologize the English, it's my second language.
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