The construction industry in Pakistan contributes about 380 billion PKR in GDP and employs 4.7 million people, according to the Pakistan Labour Force Survey, making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the country.
Ever since Pakistan’s independence in 1947, the construction style has been a fusion of Islamic architecture and modern styles. The greatest minds in the field have constructed a number of works that have been hailed all across the globe.
Here’s a list of the top five construction marvels of Pakistan.
Often dubbed the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, the Karakoram Highway is considered to be the highest paved international road in the world, stretching from Hassan Abdal (a small town near Rawalpindi) all the way to the Xinjiang Province in Western China.
Construction of the road started in 1959 and it took the fearless building teams from Pakistan and China twenty years to complete this 1,300 Km long project. 810 Pakistani and 82 Chinese workers lost their lives, mostly in landslides and falls, during the construction process.
The highway has over 20,000 bits of rock art, assembled at 10 different sites in Hunza and Shatial. The long, twisted path moves through scenic valleys, rocky mountains and rivers, and is said to be a dream come true for adventure seekers.
Built over the River Indus near the small town of Tarbela in the Haripur district, Tarbela Dam is the world’s largest fill-type dam. It is also the world’s second largest dam in terms of capacity, which is 14.3 billion cubic meters.
The construction of the dam was started in 1968 by WAPDA. The project, which cost $1.49 billion, was funded mainly by the World Bank in the form of a loan and two International Development Association credits. It was completed in 1984.
Inaugurated in 2007, the Pakistan Monument embodies the country’s history and culture. Built with granite and marble imported from Brazil and Spain respectively, the flower-like structure consists of seven petals: four larger ones that represent the four provinces, and three smaller ones that represent the three territories of Pakistan. The inner walls of the petals are decorated with murals of major landmarks of the country, such as the Minar-e-Pakistan, Badshahi Mosque, Khyber Pass and the story of independence of Pakistan. Seen from above, the monument recalls the five-pointed star that is seen on Pakistan’s national flag.
The Pakistan Monument is located in Shakar Parian National Park, Islamabad.
On 23 March 1940, the All-India Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution (more commonly known as the Pakistan Resolution), which called for the independence of all the Muslim majority areas of India. 13 years after the independence of Pakistan, construction began on the site where this historic event had taken place to build a commemorative monument.
The Minar-e-Pakistan was completed in 1968. It is a 62 meter high minaret – a mix of Islamic, Mughal and contemporary architecture. Built with reinforced concrete, its walls and floors were rendered in marble and stone. The stones used on different platforms get progressively more refined from the bottom up, to symbolise the initial struggles and the eventual success of the freedom movement.
The Minar is located in a large park in Old Lahore and is a popular tourist site.
Grand Jamia Mosque, Karachi
Currently under construction, the Grand Jamia Mosque Karachi (also known as Bahria Town Jamia Masjid Complex( is set to be the third largest mosque in the world, with a capacity to accommodate 800,000 worshippers at a time.
The project is being funded by Bahria Town, one of the largest real-estate developers, and will span over an area of 50 acres. The design of the mosque is inspired by a blend of Mughal, Persian and European architecture.
The mosque will incorporate an Islamic museum, research centre and an international university.