Over the last couple of days I have been happy with focusing on rest and relaxation rather than exert myself physically or even mentally. All the while it seems Akram has madly been working on my behalf to sort out an issue that I wasn’t even aware of. It turns out that the Ministry of Interior (a defence department in Pakistan) has recently issued a notice saying that foreigners are not allowed to enter Gilgit-Baltistan (the northern region I want to pass through to reach China) unless they have been issued a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) by the Ministry. I learned of this today when I came across an online news report that had been published a week ago. So, while I have been doing very little, Akram has been trying to find out if indeed I need a NOC, and I am now aware that uncovering the answer is not going to be easy, as everyone seems to have a different idea. The online travel community (from foreign visitors outside Pakistan to travellers and tour providers in Pakistan) are loudly raising objection to the need for an NOC, as by making it harder for tourists to travel what is a safe area in Pakistan, the Ministry’s move will have a big negative impact on both the tourism industry and people’s perception of Pakistan. I began taking my own steps to get to the bottom of the issue by writing to the Australian High Commission in Islamabad and seeing what they have to say on the matter.
|Accommodation||Home of a lovely family|
|Distance ridden today||0km|
|Total distance ridden||18,798km|