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The Pamir Plateau & The Karakoram Highway

The Pamir Plateau with an elevation of 3200-4500 meters,to the south-west of Kashgar are located in the territories of Aktao County and Tashkurgan County,Where the Tianshan Moutains and the Kunlun Mountains met.The Pamirs are famous for glaciers,snow-capped peaks,magnificent mountain ranges,lakes.As the Roof of the World,several highest peaks are on the Pamirs,such as the K2 (the Qiaogery),8611 meters above the sea level,the second in the world;Konger Peaks,7649 meters above the sea level,Kongger-jiubie Peak,7530,then Muztag Ata Peak,7546,known as “the Father of  Ice Mountains”,not far from it is Karakul Lake,its shore is a pristine spot for camping.Near the town of Tashkurgan is the ruins of  the Princess Castl.These,with others on the Pamirs,are the relics of the ancient Silk Road,The main people of the Pamirs are Tajiks,the “Sun’s Tribe”,whose folk customs and way of life are fantastic.

The 1284-kilometer Karakoram Highway linking Islambad and Kashgar throuth Khunjerab Pass is a stunning roadway winding through some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world,past the region of Chinese side and the great mountain ranges of the Himalayas,Karakorams and Pamirs,following one of the ancient Silk Road routes to the valleys of the Indus,Giggit and Hunza rivers.Karakoram means”crumbling rock”,the highway,begun in 1967,is an incredible feat of engineering by Chinese construction teams.The passage through the Northern Territories of Pakistan was blasted out of sheer rock faces that rise high above deep canyons carved by the rushing waters of the Indus River and its tributaries.In some places men suspended by ropes hand-drilled the holes for the dynamite.More than 400 lives were lost in building the road,and small stone cairns mark the graves.It can still be unpredictable-rock slides and flash floods are a constant threat and frequently hold up transportation.The Pakistan Frontier Works Organization has deployed 10,000 soldiers on the other side of  the border for road maintenance and emergency clearance.