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The Kashmir region of the Indian subcontinent and has been under territorial dispute between India and Pakistan for decades. There are two regions in particular that are claimed by India but under autonomous Pakistani control: the provinces of Gilgit–Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

Disputed areas of Kashmir region

Is it possible, then, for Indian passport holders to visit these areas?

(I was inspired by Nicolas Raoul's question to ask this one.)

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If, as an Indian passport-holder, you can get a visa to Pakistan, I'm confident that you'd be able to visit the Northern Areas (including Baltistan). Azad Kashmir, on the other hand, is closed to foreigners. ANECDOTE: It was possible to enter by public transport from Abbottabad, so long as the guards don't notice you at the check point on the border. Once in, it doesn't take long for the police to track you down to find out what you are up to, and I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate finding an Indian citizen at this point. –  SigueSigueBen Jun 13 '12 at 16:11
    
Even if officially its allowed, Indians in Pakistan and Pakistanis in India are not welcomed by any mean.. –  MeNoTalk Jun 13 '12 at 17:29
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@HaLaBi Well, that's variable and I'm guessing you're speaking from conceptions rather than experiences. I've met Pakistanis travelling in India, and the two countries have historically had rail, air, and road links (shut down on and off during times of conflict yes, but functioning regularly for the past decade at least). So my question isn't about who's welcome or not but rather it's even legally possible. –  Ankur Banerjee Jun 13 '12 at 17:39
    
I am speaking out of experience, As a crew members I have never seen any nationality being refused in any country as a crew member EXCEPT for India and Pakistan. The only crewmembers who are not allowed to enter India even for 1 hour layover are Pakistanis, and Pakistan is doing the same. So I concluded there must be serious shit going on there. –  MeNoTalk Jun 13 '12 at 17:42
    
And regarding the legality of that, if I am not mistaken there is a train or more between India and Pakistan.. so there must be a legal way somehow.. –  MeNoTalk Jun 13 '12 at 17:44

1 Answer 1

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+100

It seems you'd be able to pull it off, but it'd definitely be extra hassle and you might be subject to extra scrutiny (not to mention the cultural tensions between the two nations).

Visas

The Pakistani government says about tourist visas: "A non-extendable tourist visa valid for 14 days is issued by Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi through approved tour operators/travel agents." Depending on how strict they are about you visiting, you might have to get one of those through a travel agency. However, if you can slide by with a visitor's visa, you should have less trouble: "Visitors visa are issued to Indian Nationals to meet relatives, friends or for any other legitimate purpose. This type of visa is also issued to bonafide Indian businessmen for six months with three entries."

In addition, it seems you can only enter/exit through certain areas as an Indian national:

Following are the designated entry/exit check posts for Indian nationals, coming to Pakistan:-

i By Air Karachi/Lahore/Islamabad. ii By Sea Karachi. iii By Road Wagha.

Gilgit-Baltistan

The Pakistani government actually has a tourism website for the region and they talk about visa requirements. They seem to be the same as the rest of Pakistan—except for India (and Israel).

The Pakistan Missions abroad are authorized to issue tourist visa for a maximum period of three months liberally to all foreign nationals except to the Indian nationals and the foreigners of Indian origin and the nationals of Israel. All foreign nationals, including tourists, are exempted from police registration, except the nationals from negative list countries.

So it looks like you might have to deal with some form of police registration or extra scrutiny. Nowhere, though, does it say that Indian citizens are denied entry to the region.

Azad Kashmir

I wasn't able to find much information on rules / visiting, even though they have a tourism website. The only thing I was able to find from the actual government site:

Tourist from all parts of the State of Pakistan can visit Azad Jammu & Kashmir without any restriction. However, they are advised to keep their identity with them. Foreign tourists can visit Azad Kashmir except the areas situated within 16 kilometers along the Line of Control (LoC). Before planning their visit foreigners should contact Interior Ministry Government of Pakistan Islamabad for issuance of NOC before visiting Azad Kashmir.

A NOC is a no objection certificate—basically a letter from the government saying that "we're fine with so and so doing X, Y, and Z". I'd read over this thread from the Lonely Planet forums and this page (PDF warning) from the Lonely Planet Pakistan guidebook on getting NOCs and travelling in the area. They don't explicitly mention Indian citizens (I have a feeling the tensions between the states would make getting an NOC harder, especially if you want to travel alone without a travel agency) though.

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Excellent answer! –  Ankur Banerjee Jul 9 '12 at 9:12
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It's amazing how much you get into random research topics when you have nothing much to do. :) –  redct Jul 9 '12 at 22:00

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