Bad news for Bangladeshi Nationals planning to travel to Ladakh; the DC Office in Leh has stopped issuing them permit for the inner line areas i.e. Khardung La, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Dah, Hanu and Batalik.
Earlier too, Bangladeshi Citizens weren’t issued permit by the DC Office in Leh and it is only in the recent years that DC Office had started issuing them permit. Nonetheless, this is a major step back and would not only disappoint Bangladeshi visitors to Ladakh (many of whom have already booked their tickets), it will also have at least some economic impact on the tourism industry of Ladakh.
As of now, I do not have any information on why this step was taken. However, it is likely that the direction for this came from the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs), hence has some security reason behind it. In case I get any official reasoning behind this, I will surely update this blog post.
For those wondering about Journalists and their dependents written in the above circular, that is only applicable in case of foreign journalists. And I guess by doing this, the government is trying to ensure unauthorized journalists aren’t able to visit and report on sensitive areas.
As far as obtaining permit through MHA goes, it isn’t easy at all. Not for a general visitors without any official contacts. Here is a document regarding it, that I had posted in the original inner line permit guide.
I hope and pray, the government would revisit this decision and once again start issuing protected area permit to Bangladeshi Nationals at the DC Office in Leh. If and when that happens, I will surely post an update.
Ps. Bangladeshi Nationals, as well as all those mentioned in above circular, can visit Ladakh, cover Suru and Zanskar Valleys, take the Srinagar – Leh as well as Manali – Leh Highway and areas around Leh. I know it isn’t the same as visiting Nubra, Pangong or Tso Moriri. But it is still an option for those who have already booked tickets and made a plan to travel to Ladakh.