Pakistan: Foreign adventurers cannot visit Gilgit-Baltistan amid political uncertainty, visa delays


Foreign adventurers are not able to visit Gilgit- Baltistan (GB) due to growing political uncertainty and visa delays this winter.

Not a single foreign mountain expedition has arrived this season, Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper reported.

According to the GB tourism department, no foreign expedition or trekking group has been issued a permit this winter season, which usually lasts from November to February.

This is in contrast to 2022 when hundreds of foreign mountaineers visited Pakistan in winter to attempt to summit mountains like K2 and Nanga Parbat. In the summer of 2022, more than 1,600 international climbers visited GB.

However, Asghar Ali Porik, a tour operator from GB, told Dawn that the visa policy was the main cause, as it resulted in delayed issuance of visas.

According to Porik, another reason was a 40 per cent hike in permit royalty fees from 2023 onwards.

Former Pakistan Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar on Saturday said that Pakistan has become “politically and morally bankrupt”, according to a news report.

During the conference, the former Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader said that communication between Pakistan’s people and political parties is broken. He said there is a need to address people’s issues rather than being engaged in irrelevant political discourses such as the Panama Papers and the Toshakhana case, the paper said. (ANI)