/ Advice about Pakistan

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GingerJames on 26 May 2012 - 5ac5e471.bb.sky.com
Hey guys, this summer I'm taking off to northern Pakistan for a kayaking expedition. By the sounds of things there is a slim chance of getting a visa extension on our already limited 30 days and I was wondering how mountaineers managed to get away with spending long periods of time out in the Karakorum.

Much appreciated

Avinash Aujayeb - on 26 May 2012
In reply to GingerJames:
Hey man
I am going to the Karakoram this summer and my visa is for 45 days.
But the people I am going with say it is easy on arrival to get an extension
JR - on 27 May 2012
In reply to GingerJames:

We had this last year.

The deal is that they usually don't let you extend until a week before your visa is about to run out. You might be able to persuade someone to do it in Ibad.

We were told it was ok to do it in Skardu. Last year, you could not do it in Skardu. We had quite an epic getting it sorted. We had a few choices, drive to Gilgit and miss the first couple of days of exped and risk not getting the visa extension as it was still valid for 25 days, come off the mountain early (no chance) or pay a "local" to sort it out. In the end we had to give our passports to one of the guys at Lela Peak expeditions who took it to Gilgit and then had our passports back for us in Sakrdu when we arrived back out the mountains. Not an ideal solution beint without your passport the whole time you're above Skardu but pretty much the only viable way for us.

The other option is over stay. You can do it, you might get fined. Someone in our camp was being cocky about doing that, but it bit him in the ass when they wouldn't let him fly out of ibad and made him get a transfer to Karachi to pay the fine!

Where did you get your visa from? London hand out 45-90 day visas where as the consulate in Manchester won't give anyone over 30.
Avinash Aujayeb - on 27 May 2012
In reply to John Roberts (JR):

Hey man

Currently living in oz and got it here. What did you climb last year?

I am going up spantik,or try at least.

What's skardu like for gear?
JR - on 27 May 2012
In reply to aujayeb:

Went to Broad Peak. Skardu is pretty rubbish for gear. Take what you can out with you. You can get bits and pieces but don't rely on it. Good luck.
David Rose - on 28 May 2012
In reply to GingerJames: The best thing to do is to write a letter on expedition letterhead to the consul, and copy it to the "minister press" - the official who deals with the media. Say you are hoping to get some coverage in at least your local paper, and that this will be positive for Pakistan. Address the letter to these individuals personally: the names will be on the London website. Explain you need a longer visa, and it shouldn't be a problem.
Big Lee - on 28 May 2012
In reply to John Roberts (JR):

Would agree with last sentence. It seems to depend on where in the country you apply for your visa. I presume you asked for more than 30 days on your visa application? Else they will likely only issue 30 days. I remember a friend of mine tried to get a visa extension in Islamabad (albeit 9 years ago now). It was a bureaucratic nightmare and he eventually gave up. No idea if it is easier to get one these days though.
radson - on 28 May 2012
In reply to Big Lee:

Just looked at my visa. I got it in May and is valid for 90 days. From memory I requested 90 days so I guess by some miracle of bureaucratic oversight , I actually got the amount of days I asked for.

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