Trekking – Rules and Regulations
Procedure for Applying for Permission
1. Trekking means the act of travelling on foot to a maximum height of six thousand meters (6000 M) with the purpose of sight-seeing and recreation at various natural and cultural sites in places where means of modern transport are either not available or are purposely not used.
2. Issue of permits to trekking parties shall be regulated as follows :-
a. Treks situated in the Open Areas:
Foreigners are allowed to trek in the Open Zone without permit and guide etc. List of treks in Open Zone is at Annex. â€œGâ€.
(a) Specified treks in the Restricted Areas:
i. Specified trekking routes in Restricted Areas (comprising of districts of Chitral, Gilgit and Skardu) are at Annex â€œGâ€.
ii. A trekking party desirous of walking on the restricted routes would be required to submit application on prescribed from (Annex â€œAâ€) in duplicate, along-with two photographs each.
iii. List of leading tour operators who could also conduct trekking parties is at Annex. â€œHâ€.
iv. The trekking party will be required to hire an approved guide. Such guides are also available with the tour operators approved by the Ministry of Tourism.
v. The travel-cum-trekking agency is required to make sure that the guide and the porters accompanying a party have properly been insured for the sum specified by the Government of Pakistan and that other instructions issued by the Government in this regard from time to time are strictly adhered to .
vi. All trekkers shall be required to register their particulars at the check posts to be set up at important junctions.
vii. Permits for these treks would be issued by the Tourism Division within 24 hours of receipt of complete applications.
b. Unspecified treks in Restricted Areas
i. Applications for trek other than specified shall be submitted to the Tourism Division on prescribed form (Annexure â€œAâ€) in duplicate.
ii. Permission or rejection for undertaking these treks would be communicated within 15 days of receipt of complete application in the Tourism Division.
iii. Parties so permitted shall be accompanied by a Registered trekking guide/Liaison Officer to be detailed by the Government of Pakistan.
iv. The trekking permit issued by Tourism Wing will be valid for 30 days.
3. Government reserves the right to cancel the permission issued in favor of any party/trekker at any time without assigning any reason.
4. In case, however, a party postpones/cancels its visit, it shall so inform the Tourism Division by the quickest possible means.
Briefing / De-Briefing
5. The leader of party using treks in restricted area shall, on arrival in Rawalpindi/Islamabad, inform the Officer concerned in Tourism Division of their arrival. The said officer would furnish him relevant information on matters like insurance, purchase of rations etc., arrangement about special weather forecast by Radio Pakistan and other miscellaneous matters. After completing these formalities, the leader shall take from the said officer a date for formal briefing. For this purpose he shall give a minimum notice of 24 hours excluding Fridays, Saturday and holidays. This preparatory work may necessitate a stay of about 4-6 days in Rawalpindi/Islamabad.
6. On return from the mountains the leader of the party shall forthwith inform the concerned officer in the Tourism Division and obtain a date for debriefing by giving him a minimum notice of 24 hours.
Functions and Duties of Liaison Officer / Mountain Guide
7. A party shall include in the expedition, as its member, at least one liaison officer/mountain guide to be detailed by the Government of Pakistan, travel cum trekking agency as the case may be.
8. A party shall pay for the transport of L.O. / M.G. from Rawalpindi/Islamabad to mountains and back to Rawalpindi/Islamabad from the date he reports to a leader till the date a party is debriefed or returned to Rawalpindi/Islamabad.
9. A party shall normally accommodate a L.O. /M.G. in Rawalpindi/Islamabad in the premises where it stays. In this case he shall use the same accommodation as other members of the party. He shall also share food with the party.
10. In case a party is not in a position to accommodate a L.O. /M.G. in the premises, a L.O. / M.G. shall stay in a transit camp/hotel or any other suitable place and charge a party $10/- per day for accommodate and $10/- per day for food.
11. While in Gilgit, Skardu and Chitral, a L.O. /M.G. shall stay with a party in the premises in which it is staying. In this case he shall share food, accommodation and transport with the party.
12. While in the mountains it may be difficult for a L.O./M.G. to live on the partyâ€™s food. If he so chooses he may have independent arrangements for food. In that case a party shall purchase for the L.O. /M.G. such items of food and rations as he may indicate.
13. Total amount of money to be expended on these items shall not exceed $ 10/- per day. In this case a L.O. /M.G. shall also be provided with the services of a porter-cum-cook so that he may not face any difficulty in preparing his food. Daly wages to the said porter-cum-cook shall be paid by the party.
14. In no case a party shall advance money for the purchase of rations etc. to a L.O. / M.G. Instead, it shall depute a member to go to the market with a L.O. /M.G. and purchase for him the identified items by making with a L.O. /M.G. and purchase for him the identified items by making payment to the shopkeepers.
15. For the purpose of para-12 above, a L.O./M.G. shall indicate in advance, the approximate number of days for which he would be having independent arrangements in the mountains so that a party may arrange for items of rations.
16. The question of provision of food/accommodation for M.G. would be settled by the party with the sponsoring agency on mutually agreed terms.
17. A L.O. / M.G. shall carry his personal equipment like any other member of the party.
18. A L.O. / M.G. shall be consulted on matters such as adopting of non-traditional routes by the party, objectives, pitching of tents near the villages and on local customs in his capacity as representative of the Government of Pakistan. Leader of the party shall, however, not be bound to accept the advice of L.O./M.G.
19. In case, however, a L.O./M.G. feels strongly that non-acceptance of his advice would jeopardize the security of the country or would create law and order problems, he shall ask the leader to give him a note, in writing indicating therein, reasons for dis-agreement with his advice. He shall keep this note with him and take action in accordance with paragraphs 20 and 21 below.
20. If a L.O./M.G. thinks that danger to the security of the country would increase if activities of the party are not checked, he shall inform the nearest police station, by the quickest possible means and obtain police assistance in stopping the party from carrying out its mission.
21. On return to the district headquarters from the mountains, a L.O. /M.G. shall lodge a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner, specifying therein, exact violation of the terms and conditions or any other rule etc. He shall also send its copy to the Ministry of Tourism.
22. A L.O./M.G. shall extend maximum assistance to a party in making its mission a success. He shall not handle any cash nor undertake any financial transactions on behalf of a leader/party.
23. A L.O. /M.G. shall act as an interpreter from the starting place of the trekking party till its return to district headquarters. He shall also help solve problems of a party on its trek to his best judgment and discretion and assist the team.
24. A L.O./M.G. shall maintain discipline among the porters and shall avoid the situation of ill-will or dispute among them.
25. A L.O / M.G. shall in the event of dispute or un-desirable incident arising between any member of the party, porters and locals shall try to settle the dispute by his own efforts.
26. If, however, he feels that the situation is beyond his control he shall seek help from the nearest Police Station etc.
27. A L.O. M.G. shall also inform by the quickest means the nearest Police Station any incident of the death or disability of any member of the party or a porter etc. He shall also inform the nearest Police Station about the commission of any serious crime, along-with a report to be sent to the Deputy Commissioner and Tourism Division.
Kit and Equipment
(i) For Liaison Oficer/Mountain Guide :
28. A party shall provide to a L.O./M.G. free of cost necessary equipment as detailed at Annexure â€œBâ€ in order to enable him to perform his duties without any risk to his person.
29. Kit/equipment for L.O./M.G. shall be brought according to his measurements which shall be sent with the permission letter.
30. The question of supply of kit/equipment to M.G. would be settled between party and the sponsoring agency.
31 . A party shall also provide to porters standard kit/equipment, free of cost, as detailed at Annexure â€œCâ€.
32. Kit/equipment for porters shall be handed over to them in the presence of L.O./M.G. prior to the start of ascent.
33. No party shall be allowed to proceed to its destination if the kit/equipment provided by it to L.O./M.G. porters is found incomplete or sub-standard in quality. Before leaving Rawalpindi/Islamabad, a L.O./M.G. shall satisfy himself that the kit/equipment is complete and of required standard.
34. A party shall be at liberty to ask for the return of the kit/equipment given free of cost to L.O./M.G. and porters after completing its mission.
Import / Export of Equipment
35. Equipment, non-consumable and consumable stores imported by a party into Pakistan shall be subject to the following conditions :-
a. Equipment and non-consumable Stores :-
Shall be allowed temporary entry free of customs duty and sales tax subject to an undertaking (Annexure â€œDâ€) being furnished by a leader of the party to the effect that the equipment etc. will be re-exported out of Pakistan on completion of the mission and that no part of it shall be sold or otherwise disposed of in Pakistan, failing which customs duty and sales tax leviable thereon shall be paid.
b. Consumable Stores and medicines :-
Will be allowed exemption from customs duty and sales tax subject to the said undertaking (Annexure â€œDâ€) being furnished by the leader of the trekking party to the effect that they shall be used for the purpose for which they have been imported and shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of in Pakistan failing which customs duty and sales tax leviable thereon shall be paid. The un-consumable portion will be re-exported out of Pakistan on completion of the mission.
The above conditions shall not apply when donation of consumable and non-consumable stores and medicines etc. is made in Pakistan with the prior permission of the government.
36. A party stall send to Tourism Division in three copies the said undertaking at Annexure â€œDâ€, along-with three copies of the list of all the equipment non-consumable stores and consumable stores. Cost price of all the items shall also be shown on the said lists. Tourism Division shall return one copy to the party after affixing signatures/seal. Another copy shall be sent to the customs authorities at the point of entry who shall clear the equipment when it arrives with the party.
37. If some equipment is to be sent to Pakistan in advance, Tourism Division shall be so informed. In that case one copy of the undertaking at the said Annexure â€œDâ€, along-with its enclosures, shall be handed over to a clearing and forwarding agent to be nominated for this purpose by the party. Another copy shall be sent to the customs authorities at the point of entry.
38. After clearance of the equipment a clearing/forwarding agent shall have to arrange for its transport, stores and protection till it is handed over to the party on arrival. He shall also pay local octroi duty, if any. He shall be advised to contact a representative of Tourism Division in case of difficulty.
Wages of Porters and Transport Charges
39. Rates of wages for hiring porters and the charges for hiring animal and mechanical transport shall be fixed by the Government and circulated to all concerned.
40. Payment of wages to porters shall be made in the following manner :-
a. Porters engaged for 7 days or less shall be paid 50% of the daily wages for the said period on the day they are engaged. The remaining 50% shall be paid on the day they are discharged.
b. Porters engaged for a period of more than 7 days shall be paid 50% of the daily wages for a week on the day they are engaged. The other half shall be paid at the end of the said week. Thereafter payment shall be made on weekly basis. In case a period falls short of a week then full payment shall be made for the said period on the day they are discharged.
41. In addition to daily wages, a party shall provide to a porter free rations as per Annexure â€œEâ€ or money in lieu of rations as fixed by the Government, from the day he is engaged till the day is discharged.
42. Similarly, because of forced halts on bad weather days a party shall pay to a porter full daily wages and rations or ration money in lieu thereof. Decision of a leader about â€˜marchâ€™ on such days shall be final. If, however, a L.O./M.G. feels that the weather is too bad to march, he will ask the leader to halt the party. If the leader dis-agrees with the advice of L.O./M.G. he shall give him in writing the reasons for his disagreement.
43. A L.O. / M.G. shall be covered by an insurance of Rs. 100,00/- (Rupees one hundred thousand only). In case of partial disablement the amount of compensation shall be proportionate to the percentage of disablement as declared by the competent authority.
44. A porter shall be insured for a sum of Rs. 50,000/- (Rupees fifty thousand only). In case of partial disablement, the amount of compensation shall be proportionate to the percentage of disablement as declared by a Civil Surgeon.
45. Insurance cover, shall be provided by the trekking party through a Pakistani company and the Tourism Division shall help a party in getting this facility in Pakistan, if so requested.
46. A party shall be accompanied by a qualified physician/surgeon who shall also pay due professional attention to L.O./M.G. and porters.
47. If, however, a party comprises of 5 or less than 5 persons and is not in a position to bring a physician/surgeon as its member, then the said party shall bring a qualified first aid specialist as one of its members.
48. A L.O./M.G. and porters shall become entitled to free medical treatment from the partyâ€™s surgeon/physician from the date they report to a party till the date their services are no longer required.
49. In case of sickness/injury of a L.O./M.G. detailed by Pakistan Army, Travel Agency leader of a party shall immediately inform the nearest Army Formation/Deputy Commissioner.
50. In case a L.O./M.G. is so sick as to be unable to walk he shall be transported to the nearest jeepable point by engaging porters. From there he shall be sent to a hospital of his entitlement in a jeep. Payment for this transportation shall be made by the party.
51. If in the opinion of the leader/physician/surgeon the sickness/injury is likely to aggravate if the L.O./M.G. is transported by porters/jeep to the nearest hospital then the Deputy Commissioner of the area shall be contacted to arrange for a helicopter for evacuation of Liaison Officer/Mountain Guide. A party shall pay charges of helicopter used for this evacuation.
52. If in the opinion of a physician / surgeon evacuation of a sick/injured porter from the mountains to a hospital in a District headquarters like Gilgit, Skardu or Chitral is necessary then the party shall pay for his evacuation by a helicopter or other means. The decision of the leader about evacuation etc. shall be final. In case a L.O. / M.G. feels that a porter is very sick and is not being evacuated, he shall ask the leader to arrange for his evacuation. If the leader dis-agrees with the advice of L.O. /M.G. he shall give in writing the reasons for such dis-agreement. The said statement would also need to be countersigned by the expedition doctor/First-aid specialist.
53. During sickness/injury in the mountains and hospitalization, a party shall pay half of the daily wages to a porter till the date he leaves the district headquarters for Rawalpindi/Islamabad.
54. Medical facilities including surgical operations etc. are generally provided free of cost in Pakistani hospitals. Should some sickness/injuries to L.O./M.G. porters entail some expenditure, a party shall pay for the same.
(i) Aerial Photography :
55. Aerial photography of mountains/peaks enroute to Northern Areas and Chitral is allowed after seeking permission from Captain of an aircraft.
(ii) Still Photography :
56. Party shall not photograph the following objects during its stay in Pakistan :-
a. Any Army, Navy and Air Force installations.
b. Any equipment of Armed Forces, such as Ships/establishments, guns, tanks, vehicles, aircrafts and arms etc.
c. Any Pakistan Aerodromes or its connected building and installations.
d. Any tribal lady/ladies.
e. Any other prohibited area/places.
(iii) Making of Commercial Film including T.V. :
57. Subject to above a party visiting the zone (i.e. 10 mile belt and 30 mile belt of Pakistan border with foreign countries) may take phtographs/make films under the direct supervision of a L.O./M.G.
58. For this purpose, a party shall identify one member of its team as the photographer for making of a film of academic interest. If, however, a party wants to include the team some professional photographers for making of a commercial film in addition to making of a profession film, the professional photographer(s) in that case shall be accompanied by an additional L.O./M.G. under the same Terms and Conditions as for the L.O./M.G. Under this arrangements, professional photographers shall not be allowed to break into separate units.
59. Export of such films out of Pakistan shall be allowed only after the L.O. /M.G. has certified that defence installation and prohibited areas/places were not photographed.
60. A L.O. /M.G. shall inform a party of the objects which are allowed to be photographed/filmed. If he is convinced that key/defence installations are being photographed, he shall forbid the photographer from taking such photographs or making of such films. If a photographer does not comply with his advice, the matter shall be reported to the police who shall proceed against such photographer under official secreta act, 1923.
61. Still photographs, commercial films and films of academic interest taken/made in the rest of Pakistan shall be subject only to restrictions mentioned at paras 59 and 60.
62. Permission to photography is subject to the condition that a party shall supply to the Government of Pakistan, free of cost, and freight, one copy/print of a film of academic interest/commercial film made and one set of photographs taken.
63. In case of accident/death of a member of a party, the leader shall notify the L.O. /M.G. who shall report the matter to the nearest police station and get in touch with Deputy Commissioner of the area for any assistance that may be felt necessary.
64. If any assistance from the Pakistan Army is needed, the L.O./M.G. shall so inform the Deputy Commissioner who shall arrange such assistance.
65. If a helicopter is needed, a Deputy Commissioner shall arrange for the same on payment basis, but the party will have to bear the expenses.
66. In case of death of member, a L.O./M.G. shall obtain necessary death certificate from the local Deputy Commissioner before leaving the area.
67. In case of accident/death of a low/high altitude porter, action shall be taken on the above lines. In addition, a L.O./M.G. shall obtain from the Civil Surgeon concerned a certificate of his/their disablement/death for insurance purposes.
68. In case of injury /death of L.O./M.G. the leader shall inform the Deputy Commissioner of the area who, in turn, shall inform the army authorities/Tourism Division.
69. A party shall invariably encash foreign exchange from an authorised bank/money changer. For this purpose a certificate about the amount of foreign exchange tendered shall be obtained from the said bank/authorised money changer. There are no restrictions on the import of foreign exchange instruments either personally or by post or otherwise. This applies only to foreign currency notes and coins.
70. Any person maintaining an account expressed in a foreign currency and held under any permission, general or otherwise granted by the State Bank of Pakistan to take or send to Pakistan, cheques or drafts drawn on such account.
71. Any person, other than a person to whom foreign exchange issued for travelling purpose only, to send out of Pakistan foreign exchange issued to him by an authorised agent.
72. Any person to take out of Pakistan without limit any foreign currency.
Observance of Security
73. A party shall confine its activities only to the trekking.
74. A party shall not indulge in any activity that might offend the religious sentiments and social moral usages and customs of the local people.
75. A party shall not at any stage operate in more than one area.
76. A party shall not split into small groups while in the mountains. In case of emergency only a L.O./M.G. has the authority to allow splitting of a party.
77. A party shall not deviate from the specified route except in an emergency and with the permission of the L.O./M.G.
78. Maps etc. if applied for and issued to a party, shall be returned to the Government of Pakistan through L.O./M.G. before an expedition departs from Pakistan. A nominal amount of non-refundable money may also need to be deposited with the Government for use of these maps.
79. Duplicate copies of topographical data collected during mountain climbing etc. shall be handed over to L.O./M.G.
80. Export out of Pakistan of data/specimen/collections without the prior permission of the Government of Pakistan is prohibited.
81. A leader shall also provide a set of all such specimens to the Government of Pakistan.
82. Trekking fee would be charged from parties @ US $ 50/- per person per trek debitable in head of account No. â€œ1391-Fees, Fines and Forefeituresâ€ for accounting of the receipt relating to Royalty/Trekking fee realized from mountaineering and trekking party.
83. Leader and members of a party shall be responsible for the safety of the life of a L.O./M.G. They shall also ensure that members of the party extend to him due courtesies.
84. A party shall engage porters through local administration.
85. A porter shall carry a maximum weight of 25 kilos. He shall walk in a day the distance from one traditional halt to another. The decision of L.O./M.G. about a traditional halt shall be final.
86. A porter shall sign an undertaking of good behavior as per Annexure â€œFâ€. One copy of the said undertaking shall be deposited with a representative of local administration. Another copy shall be handed over to the leader. The third copy shall be provided to the porter.
87. A party shall try to follow the date of arrival as fixed by the Government in order to avoid pressure on local transport and accommodation in the â€œtake offâ€ area.
88. As soon as the party gets the permission letter it shall immediately inform the nearest PIA office or any other airline for reservation of seats and booking of equipment from Rawalpindi to Northern areas/Chitral by giving the following information
i. Number of persons.
ii. Total weight to the flown
iii. Probable dates of flights from Rawalpindi to Northern Areas/Chitral.
Copy of this communication shall also be sent to Tourism Division.
89. Flights to Northern Areas and Chitral are subject to weather conditions and as such PIA or any other airline may not be able to given firm dates of bookings. In such cases, a party would need to request the PIA/any other airline to pass on the above information to Officer incharge, Northern Areas, PIA offices, Shahrah-e-Azam, Rawalpindi.
90. A party shall come prepared to stay for a period of 2-3 weeks in Rawalpindi and Northern Areas/Chitral, respectively, in case the weather suddenly turns bad.
91. A party may, however, travel by road from Rawalpindi to Northern Areas/Chitral and back.
92. A party shall have to register itself with the Foreigners Registration Office in the office of Senior Superintendent of Police, at Rawalpindi before leaving for mountains. Similarly a party shall inform the said Foreigners Registration Officer before leaving Rawalpindi/Islamabad on departure from Pakistan.
93. To obviate language difficulty, a party coming from non-English speaking country, shall invariably include in its party an English speaking member.
94. A party shall leave a camping site clean by appropriate disposal of all bio-degradable material and bring back to Skardu/Gilgit/Chitral or any other nearest amjor town the non-biodegradable like plastics and empty-tins etc. On return, a L.O./M.G. shall furnish a certificate that the condition has been fully complied with by the party.
95 . A party or its porters shall not damage the forest or animal wealth of the area. On return, a L.O./M.G. shall furnish a certificate that the condition has also been fully complied with by the party.
96. A party shall not serve for bidden items like pork etc. to L.O/M.G. / Porters.
97. In case of breach of these rules, a party or all the members of such a party and the sponsors of such a party shall be dis-qualified for any future trekking in Pakistan for a maximum period of 5 â€“ years. In addition to this they may also be proceeded against under the relevant law.