Pakistan Road Network
For information on road contact details, please see the following link:
(Sources: Pakistan Transport Plan Study, 2006; Pak Econ Survey, 2010; National Transport Research Center– Deputy Chief of NTRC)
Road is the dominant mode of inland traffic in Pakistan and carries 91% of passenger traffic and 96% of freight traffic (Source: NHA) . Current road density in Pakistan is 0.32km/km-sq. Pakistan’s road network is vital for the movement of people and goods and plays an important role in integrating the country, facilitating economic growth and reducing poverty. Pakistan has a road network covering 259,618 kilometres including 179,290 KM of high type roads and 80,328 KM of low type roads. Total roads, which were 229,595 KM in 1996‐97, increased to 259,618 KM by 2009‐10 (Jul‐Mar) an increase of 13 percent. A sizable and continuous improvement of the high type road network was observed from 1996‐97 to 2009‐10 (Jul‐Mar). (Pak Econ Survey,2010)
The distance between Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan in the north-east of the country, and Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh having two important international ports, is about 1, 200 km (PTPS, 2006). This forms the main transport corridor of Pakistan, with the bulk of freight transport passing through it.About 60% of the road network in Pakistan consists of paved roads.
The National Highways of Pakistan consists of all public highways maintained by National Highways Authority under the Ministry of Transport. It maintains over 12,000 kilometres (7,500 mi) of roadways organised into various classifications which crisscross the country and provide access to major population centres. These are not to be confused with provincial highways, which are provincial roads maintained by the respective provinces. Pakistan's national highways include the famous Grand Trunk Road, Indus Highway, Karakoram Highway and Makran Coastal Highway.
All national highways in Pakistan are pre-fixed with the letter 'N' (for "National") followed by the unique numerical designation of the specific highway (with a hyphen in the middle), e.g. "N-5". Each numerical designation is separated by five numerals, i.e. N-5, N-10, N-15, etc.
National Highways are distinct from 'Strategic Highways', which begin with the prefix 'S' and are owned, controlled and operated by the Ministry of Defense.
Islamabad – Kohat
Distance From City
Distance To City
Karachi (Sindh) Between
Peshawar (North-West Frontier)Distance
Jhang Sadr (Punjab)Between
Mardan (North-West Frontier)Between
Dera Ghazi Khan (Punjab)
Mingaora (North-West Frontier)
Mirpur Khas (Sindh)Distance
Kohat (North-West Frontier)
Tando Adam (Sindh)Between
Distance From City
Distance To City
Ahmadpur East (Punjab)Between
Dera Ismail Khan (North-West Frontier)Between
Swabi (North-West Frontier)
Nowshera Cantonment (North-West Frontier)Between
Charsadda (North-West Frontier)Distance
Attock City (Punjab)Between
Tando Muhammad Khan Distance(Sindh)
Gujar Khan (Punjab)Distance
Kot Malik (Balochistan)Between
Chuhar Kana (Punjab)Distance
Toba Tek Singh (Punjab)Between
Shorko (North-West Frontier)
Shabqadar (North-West Frontier)
Mansehra (North-West Frontier)Distance
Lala Musa (Punjab)Between
Distances from Capital City to Major Towns (km)
Weighbridges and Axle Load Limits
NHA has 54 weigh stations to enforce axle load limits. Currently the fine for overloading is about Rs. 100 per ton, but there are many problems with enforcing these fines due to the weigh stations being located in remote areas in many cases.
Operators and drivers often negotiate these fines in case of large amounts of overloading. Another issue is that there is often limited space for unloading at the weigh station, as well as limited parking space for overloaded trucks.
Follow below link for a listing of weighbridges in the country:
Axle Load Limits
The National Highways Safety Ordinance 2000 stipulates maximum axle loads and tyre pressures:
- Front axle – 5 tonnes
- Single axle – 12 tonnes
- Tandem axle – 22 tonnes
- Tridem axle – 33 tonnes
- Tyre pressure rear axle 120 psi
- Tyre pressure – front axle 100 psi
Some concessions were allowed on National Highways through agreement with the NHA, but none on the motorway.
Allowed on National Highways
Allowed on Motorways
2 AX SINGLE (BEDFORD)
2 AX SINGLE (HINO/ NISSAN)
3 AX TANDEM
3 AX SINGLE
4 AX SINGLE TANDEM
4 AX TANDEM SINGLE
4 AX SINGLE
5 AX SINGLE TRIDEM
5 AX TANDEM TANDEM
5 AX SINGLE SINGLE TANDEM
5 AX TANDEM SINGLE SINGLE
6 AX TANDEM TRIDEM
6 AX TANDEM SINGLE TANDEM
Road Class and Surface Conditions
ROAD LENGTH AND DENSITY TABLE (Source: NTRC, 2006)
Total Road Length (km)
%age of paved road
Area (km2 )
Road Density (km/km2)
Road Length per
Mil. People (km)
Number of Registered Vehicles
Road Length per 1,000 Vehicles
ADMINISTRATIVE CLASSIFICATION OF ROADS – (Source: NTRC, 2006)
National Highway, Motorways, Strategic Roads.
National Highway Authority (NHA), Ministry of Communications
9, 000 km
Representing the main transport corridors and providing inter-provincial linkages and connections to the neighboring countries
Communications and Works Department (C&WD);
Works and Services Department ( WSD), and;
Frontier Highway Authority (FHA)
Providing access to the economic and population centres in the four provinces
Providing access to villages and remote areas
Municipal and Cantonment Roads
Municipal Government and army
Providing access to villages and remote areas.
There are 14 National Highways (8,600 km), 5 Motorways (767 km), and two Strategic Roads (270km) in Pakistan as listed in the tableabove.
N5 is the longest and most important National Highway. N-55 is the second longest National Highway. N-25 is an important international and national highway connecting Karachi with Quetta and Chaman on the Afghanistan border.
There are many topographical obstacles on the National Highways. For example, the Kohat tunnel has only 2 lanes despite the importance of N-55. N-70 has a very dangerous mountainous section between D.G.Khan and Fort Munro, where on a winding section, rocks stick out over the road, and slopes are very steep.
The Khushalgarh Bridge over the River Indus on N-80 is old and narrow. This bridge crosses its access roads at right angles, disallowing container trucks to pass over it. The Lowari Rail Tunnel Project is underway to overcome such topographical obstacles on N-45. The Malakand Tunnel (N-45) and the Lakpass Tunnel ( N-25) are also planned to improve road transport. Many new bridges over the River Indus and other big rivers are proposed.
The major function of National Highways is to carry inter-provincial traffic or long distance traffic along national corridors, connecting the major cities. Accordingly, National Highways have many congested cities as bottlenecks along their routes. Many bypasses have been constructed in major cities for National Highways to avoid congestion. However, soon after opening a bypass for a city, the city begins to grow along the bypass, and the growth continues until the bypass soon ceases to function properly. This is where more controlled access to national highways could alleviate the situation.
NHA plans to develop a network of full access controlled Motorways as a new economic corridor to provide fast transportation of goods and passengers. The total length of the planned Motorway network is 2,734 km.
Issues: Overloading by trucks is a typical phenomenon in the transport sector in Pakistan. It is common for 2-axle trucks, having a high vertical limit on the rear, carry heavy loads to the extent of the dimensional limit instead of the tonnage limit. Overloading causes severe road maintenance issues due to the weight over the capacity of the pavement, as well as unwanted road accidents.
For information on Pakistan international corridors, please see the following document: