The documentary film on the Karakoram Highway (KKH) recently premiered on the big screen in Islamabad. The hour-long film “Where Men and Mountains Meet” highlights the construction and importance of KKH, an emblem of Pak-China friendship.
Produced by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in association with Delirium Productions and Frontier Works Organization (FWO), the film mainly honors the unprecedented sacrifices made by FWO who constructed the road by employing the Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers.
To clarify, 567 military troops (including 11 Officers) and 246 civilians lost their lives while building the highway. Additionally, more than 980 individuals faced injuries due to landslides and falls. On the other hand, about 200 Chinese also died during the construction of the project. Consequently, over 140 Chinese workers who died are buried in the Chinese cemetery in Gilgit.
Furthermore, former Pakistani military officials, who were part of the projects during different eras of construction, recount their experiences. Lt. General (retired) Javed Nasir, Major General (retired) Sabih Uddin Bukhari, Major General (retired) Muhammad Afsar, and Brigadier (retired) Iqbal Ahmad are amongst those former officers of the Pakistan Army who share their stories in the film.
Important to note, the film received mass appreciation from critics at the premiere. According to them, the documentary film is a great effort to educate the nation on the historical importance of this road.
As per Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s latest tweet, the documentary will be telecasted on TV on 1st January 2022.
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) December 30, 2021
KKH: 8th wonder of the world
Inaugurated in 1959, the KKH is a 1,300 km national highway and is also known as the 8th wonder of the world. It extends from Hasan Abdal in the Punjab province of Pakistan to the Khunjerab Pass in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). As a result, it then crosses into China and becomes China National Highway 314. Interestingly, the highway, one of the highest paved roads in the world, passes through the Karakoram mountain range at a maximum elevation of 15,466 ft. The KKH officially opened to the public in 1979.
In addition, Karakoram Highway provides the pathway to expeditions for almost all peaks in Gilgit–Baltistan, Kashmir, and several peaks in Xinjiang China. The region includes some of the world’s largest glaciers like the Baltoro and Siachen Glaciers.
Most importantly, the KKH succeeded in connecting GB with the rest of Pakistan. It helped promote national and regional integration through road networks. Moreover, KKH strengthened the Pak-China friendship and increased bilateral trade.