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,<sup id="cite_ref-4" class="reference"></sup> mostly in landslides and falls, while building the highway. 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. Presently, the Engineer-in-Chief' Branch of the Pakistani Army is working on a project documenting the history of the highway. A book 'History of Karakoram Highway' has been written by Brigadier (Retired) Muhammad Mumtaz Khalid. It is 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 having an all weather road link with Gilgit and the construction of Indus Valley Road. The second volume records events leading to conversion of Indus Valley Road to Karakoram Highway, the difficulties in its construction and the role of Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers and the Chinese counterparts in its construction.