The Karakoram Highway (KKH) is the highest paved international road in the world. It connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram mountain range, through the Khunjerab Pass, located at 36°51′00″N 75°25′40″E, at an elevation of 4,693 metres (15,397 ft). Connecting China's Xinjiang region with Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistan, the road is a popular tourist attraction. Due to its high elevation and the difficult conditions in which it was constructed, it is sometimes referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World."
The Karakoram Highway is known informally as the KKH and — within Pakistan — officially as the N-35; within China, officially as China National Highway 314 (G314). It is also a part of the Asian Highway AH4.
The Karakoram Highway, also known as the Friendship Highway in China, was built by the governments of Pakistan and China. It was started in 1959 and was completed in 1979 (open to the public since 1986). About 810 Pakistanis and about 200 Chinese workers lost their lives, mostly in landslides and falls, while building the highway. The Chinese workers who died during the construction are buried in the Chinese cemetery in Gilgit. The route of the KKH traces one of the many paths of the ancient Silk Road.
On the Pakistani side, the road was constructed by FWO (Frontier Works Organisation), employing the Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers. Recently, the Engineer-in-Chief's Branch of the Pakistani Army has completed a project documenting the history of the highway. The book History of Karakoram Highway was written by Brigadier (Retired) Muhammad Mumtaz Khalid in two volumes. In the first volume the author discusses the land and the people, the pre-historic communication system in the Northern Areas, the need for an all-weather road link with Gilgit, and the construction of Indus Valley Road. The second volume records events leading to the conversion of the Indus Valley Road to the Karakoram Highway, the difficulties in its construction, and the role of Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers and their Chinese counterparts in its construction.