Pamir Highway security Q&A

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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Jerome
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Re: General security advice - GBAO

Postby Jerome » Tue May 24, 2016 10:16 am

Hello everyone,

Thanks to your advice, my two friends and I cycled all the way down from Sary-Tash to Kalaikum, going through the Pamir Highway and the Wakhan valley, starting the 6th of May and finishing on the 22nd in Kalaikhum. We had absolutely no concerns about security. We felt perfectly safe, even though Afghanistan was just a few meters ahead. It is very hard to imagine how alarming articles can be written about the situation in Khorog for instance.

In Ishkashim, the market between the two countries is still closed and we had three lanslides the same rainy day between Ishkashim and Khorog, but they were cleared during the day.
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L'Illustre Robert
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Pamir Highway security Q&A

Postby L'Illustre Robert » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:27 am

Hi everyone,

First post here, as I am planning to go on the Pamir road from September 7 (flight from Dushanbe to Khorog) to September 15 (Osh).

Besides inquiring whether this time frame is realistic, I am a little concerned about the rather alarmous security updates I have read here and there, regarding the Pamir road, which borders Afghanistan on several miles.
- https://iwpr.net/global-voices/afghan-i ... tajikistan
- https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/ ... esh-forces

The articles basically indicate that the recent progress of both Taliban and ISIS rival forces towards the north and in provinces bordering Tadjikistan threatens the stability of the latter. It cannot be excluded that some fighters or sympathisers could be found in the GBAO region wishing to pass or quit Afghanistan.
Quite obviously, Western travellers, and especially from specific countries (I am French) could lure those guys...

I am no expert of the region itself, but I was wondering if it is really safe to travel there.

What do you think ? Thank you for your advices !
Last edited by L'Illustre Robert on Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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L'Illustre Robert
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Re: Pamir road and the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan

Postby L'Illustre Robert » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:28 am

Just a quote from this website :

In Badakhshan province [bordering Tajikistan], anti-government armed groups have been in full control for more than two years over two strategically important districts, Vardudj and Jamgan. They are also present in more than ten districts of the province. Local Afghans are at the core of these armed groups, with Afghans from the southern and south-eastern provinces, as well as citizens of Pakistan and the Central Asian republics. Most militants call themselves Taleban or fighters of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. There are groups that act together with the Taleban under the banner of the Ansarullah group, which is made up of Tajik citizens. There were attempts by some groups to declare themselves representatives of the Islamic State (IS). It is noteworthy that some operations against government forces in the Badakhshan province are jointly conducted by these groups. They try to keep [certain] districts, resources and mines under their control.

The most difficult situation is in the province of Takhar, neighbouring Badakhshan and Tajikistan. For more than two months, the province has had no governor. Its former head, Yasin Ziya, unexpectedly resigned at the end of May and left the province, and a new one has not yet been appointed. Afghan experts predict the situation in Takhar will deteriorate during the summer and autumn of 2017. They assess the situation in Ishkamish, Darqad, Hvodjagor, Baharak, Khawadjah Bahavodin, Chahi Ab, Dashti Kala and Bangi to be even more complex. Regular murders of civilians, theft, kidnapping and other crimes take place on a regular basis in the remote areas away from the district centres. A mass migration of people has been reported. The main reason for the destabilisation of the province is the strengthening of various armed organisations in most of its districts.

Citing the Afghan ministry of internal affairs, local analysts note the active presence of the Taleban, al-Qaeda, Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in this area. In addition, the situation is complicated by the presence of 94 different armed groups in the province, with 1,130 members. Various local clan leaders most often head these groups.
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steven
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Re: Pamir road and the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan

Postby steven » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:30 am

Time frame is realistic. About the danger, that is always up to you and a matter of chances. Currently, the Pamir Highway is very busy with foreign tourists and no one is being kidnapped, but you could be the first. It is always a possibility. For now though, no foreigner has ever been kidnapped or killed by the Taliban in Tajikistan. The Taliban has no stated objectives in Tajikistan.

Some more discussion on the topic: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3138
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TomasS
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Re: Pamir road and the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan

Postby TomasS » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:40 am

Yes, Steven is right... It was totally safe there, but if i want to speculate, just theoretically, when Taliban decided to earn some extra money by kidnapping, it would have abilities to do this, and i think nobody would prevent. But it has never happened. But can.
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L'Illustre Robert
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Re: Pamir road and the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan

Postby L'Illustre Robert » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:28 am

Thank you guys, I think it sounded quite alarmist, after having read other accounts. I am finally going there anyway :)
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seysearles
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Re: Pamir road and the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan

Postby seysearles » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:27 pm

L'Illustre Robert wrote:Hi everyone,

First post here, as I am planning to go on the Pamir road from September 7 (flight from Dushanbe to Khorog) to September 15 (Osh).

Besides inquiring whether this time frame is realistic, I am a little concerned about the rather alarmous security updates I have read here and there, regarding the Pamir road, which borders Afghanistan on several miles.
- https://iwpr.net/global-voices/afghan-i ... tajikistan
- https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/ ... esh-forces

The articles basically indicate that the recent progress of both Taliban and ISIS rival forces towards the north and in provinces bordering Tadjikistan threatens the stability of the latter. It cannot be excluded that some fighters or sympathisers could be found in the GBAO region wishing to pass or quit Afghanistan.
Quite obviously, Western travellers, and especially from specific countries (I am French) could lure those guys...

I am no expert of the region itself, but I was wondering if it is really safe to travel there.

What do you think ? Thank you for your advices !


I have just returned from the Pamir and my advice would be to worry a lot more about the potholes than the Taliban. Don't let hysteria dissuade you from experiencing something so unique. It's a beautiful part of the world. I never felt threatened once the entire month I was in the region.
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Re: Pamir Highway security Q&A

Postby steven » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:40 am

More discussion on the security topic on the Pamir Highway can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=4058
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Re: Pamir Highway security Q&A

Postby steven » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:17 am

This is a worrying evolution: http://www.fergananews.com/news/33337 - just worries for now, no direct action, but the situation in Khorog seems tense.
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Re: Pamir Highway security Q&A

Postby steven » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:27 am

steven wrote:This is a worrying evolution: http://www.fergananews.com/news/33337 - just worries for now, no direct action, but the situation in Khorog seems tense.


The situation is slowly escalating: https://eurasianet.org/tajikistan-rally ... government
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