China, Karakoram, Pakistan discussed on BBC World Service


Karakoram highway will say known as the friendship highway in China was started in nineteen fifty nine due to the difficult conditions under which was constructed. It's also sometimes to as the eighth one of the world. It's unique no semblance of this kind of Attaran in the would sixty peaks averaging six thousand six hundred meters kinda bad ice. But the nightmare full orbited. Perez was a twenty eight year old major with the puck istani engineer cool when he was put in charge of one hundred kilometers stretch of road. Just a year the full the Karakoram highway was opened to the public joined capacity is one of the company come onto the road maintenance battalion during the course of that. I was not just looking at their hundred kilometer plus that I have to maintain also had a number of opportunities your right of condo. And seeing all things happening in the process would also see the Chinese doing leftover works Kunjirap pass as a high two full thousand seven hundred meters lies close to the border between Pakistan and China in the Karakoram mountains will they construction had started in nineteen Fifty-nine a road, connecting Pakistan to China was something that had been needed since the founding of the country in nineteen forty seven. Soon off to the Indians annexed a large part of Kashmir. And there was a route. That was going we've left only with the on value. Now this suit had a big problem. It was only open for three months in a year and nine hundred fifty eight then you've taken over and he was the president. He ordered the Gilgit Rudra Newt to be developed this get through it would become the Karakoram highway. The Chinese got involved in the construction of the highway strategic and trade reasons, they were particularly keen to have access Pucca sons deepwater port thousands of kilometers further south the Chinese certainly was because of their something like seven thousand five hundred kilometers of border with uses are Russian fluted, then they also had India, which they've had a misadventure in nineteen sixty to talk some excess to the warm waters. It was through Buxton on. The Pakistan side the road was constructed by the frontier works can is Asian who employed the Pakistani army corps of engineers, major alcohol says the puck is what ill prepared for the huge number of difficulties the roof falls landslides, the high altitude and the puck astonished soldiers will poorly equipped, but considered to be in the original area and live in tents and never allowed to construct anybody's for them since because of safety reasons. Nope of because of the resources the money each one of them were living late the soldiers live in the field. There was no concept of making them comfortable. Get very cold. Oh, yes. You can have frostbite as sunburn at the same time and cannot afford to reach drive and start working and Lizzy acclimatized. How would you acclimatize you do not start climbing without quite taking pauses, for instance, if you would reach job you to at least two three stop over's of three or four days each at heights before you each something like sixteen thousand feet came to us. We made force learned. Without on the Atlanta vision and. With the help. And what was that like for you to come to those conditions? What did it mean at that time was young marriage? And that was a challenge, and I love the excursion at times, I would also trek. Uphill trying and finding the Slade stocks, cutting and time sticking risks. That's all youngsters do be enjoyed working commissions the building of the road at such high altitude. I mean such a remote region as many challenges for the engineers often, they'd complete a section of road only for it to be destroyed by foles or landslides Lord of explosive had been used and that would trigger mountain slides very often living soldiers facing debt, fever facing injuries and the V lost a soda on every might and almost as many civilians the mountaineers. Rickie kind of rattles, and they were hang up in the mountains and try and make some and then make a road which is not an easy task by the nineteen seventies. The Chinese who better equipped came over the to help sending ten thousand road builders into Pakistan to complete the highway. It's estimated that about eight hundred Pakistan's about two hundred Chinese has Los alive steering. The construction for the twenty four hour job. People used to work in shifts. Of course, working by night was very very hazardous wet extremely hard. But at peaceful describes the scenery to me, what was it like wall? Beautiful understatement on spotting the.

Coming up next