Situation seems to be deteriorating.
Fergus said he had armed police escorts the entire way from Quetta to India, and a secret intelligence officer in Taftan (border town with Iran) told him: “Get your petrol, I will get you water, and get the h*ll out of here!” for his own safety.
There was an earthquake in Quetta just hours ago, with reportedly 150 people killed. The FCO hasn’t picked up on it and advised on travel in the aftermath yet, but my hunch is it’s not going to make things any better.
From that it’s looking increasingly unlikely that I’ll dare to cycle across most, if any, of Pakistan.
Also, the FCO did update its advice on Pakistan a couple of weeks ago adding:
The Ministry of Foreign Afffairs has informed diplomatic missions in Islamabad that “all foreigners, including diplomats, may not move out of their city of residence without proper security and prior co-ordination with the law enforcement agency with regard to their move or visit.” No further information has been provided by the Pakistani authorities on how this requirement will be implemented. The British High Commission is urgently seeking further information on the procedures and whether they will apply to all British nationals.
After reading that, who knows if I’ll even be granted a visa! My passport is currently in the care of Fedex on its way back to London for my brother to go to the Pakistan High Commission and get me a visa – I can’t apply anywhere except my home country of residence.
It’s a shame, Fergus also says the people are fantastic, which is what I’ve heard from many others as well. At the risk of sounding like a beauty queen contestant: why can’t we just have world peace!