Motorways of Pakistan

Motorways of Pakistan are a network of multiple-lane, high-speed, controlled-access highways in Pakistan, which are owned, maintained, and operated federally by Pakistan’s National Highway Authority. As of 18 March 2020, 1973 km of motorways are operational, while an additional 1763 km are under construction or planned. Motorways are a part of Pakistan’s “National Trade Corridor Project” and “China-Pakistan Belt Road Initiative,” starting from Khunjerab Pass near Chinese Border to Gwadar in Balochistan. All motorways are pre-fixed with the letter ‘M’ (for “Motorway”) followed by the unique numerical designation of the specific highway (with a hyphen in the middle), e.g. “M-1”

Pakistan’s motorways are an important part of Pakistan’s “National Trade Corridor Project”, which aims to link Pakistan’s three Arabian Sea ports (Karachi Port, Port Bin Qasim and Gwadar Port) to the rest of the country through its national highways and motorways network and further north with Afghanistan, Central Asia and China. The project was planned in 1990. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor project aims to link Gwadar Port and Kashgar (China) using Pakistani motorways, national highways, and expressways.

NameRouteLength (km)LaneCompletion YearStatus
M-1 M-1 Motorway Peshawar–Islamabad 15562007Operational
M-2M-2 Motorway Islamabad–Lahore 33461997Operational
M-3 M-3 Motorway Lahore–Abdul Hakeem 23062019Operational
M-4M-4 Motorway Pindi Bhattian–Multan 3094-6 2019Operational
M-5 M-5 Motorway Multan–Sukkur 39262019Operational
M-6 M-6 Motorway Sukkur-Hyderabad 2966----Planned
motorway_symbol M-7 Motorway Dadu–Hub 270---------
M-8 M-8 Motorway Ratodero–Gwadar 89222022Partially Operational
M-9M-9 Motorway Hyderabad–Karachi 13662018Operational
M-10 M-10 Motorway Karachi Northern Bypass 5722007Operational
M-11 M-11 Motorway Lahore–Sialkot 10342020Operational
motorway_symbolM-12 MotorwaySialkot – Rawalpindi2126-----Planned
motorway_symbolM-13 motorway Swabi - Chakdara----------Planned
M-14 M-14 Motorway Hakla–D.I Khan 28542021Under Construction
M-15 M-15 Motorway Hasan Abdal–Thakot 1806-4-2 2020Operational
M-16 M-16 Motorway Nowshera – Chakdara 16042020-----

Patrolling and enforcement

Pakistan’s Motorways are patrolled by Pakistan’s National Highways & Motorway Police (NH&MP), which is responsible for enforcement of traffic and safety laws, security and recovery on the Pakistan Motorway network. The NH&MP use SUVs, cars and heavy motorbikes for patrolling purposes and uses speed cameras for enforcing speed limits.

Emergency runways

The M-1 motorway (Peshawar-Islamabad) and the M-2 motorway (Islamabad-Lahore) each include two emergency runway sections of 9,000 feet (2,700 m) length. The four emergency runway sections become operational by removing removable concrete medians using forklifts. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has used the M-2 motorway as a runway on two occasions: for the first time in 2000 when it landed an F-7P fighter, a Super Mushak trainer and a C-130 and, again, in 2010. On the last occasion, the PAF used a runway section on the M-2 motorway on 2 April 2010 to land, refuel and take-off two jet fighters, a [Mirage III] and an F-7P, during its Highmark 2010 exercise.

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