The Mad House at the daak-khaana chowk Liaquatabad

Owais Mughal

Karachi is going through a big infrastructure overhaul these days. Many roads are dug up for building signal-free corridors. This has shifted traffic load to lesser known roads. One such route, which is taking the burnt of traffic load is the University Road to daak-khana chowk (post office intersection) Liaquatabad route via Sindhi Hotel.

I passed through Liaquatabad daak-khana chowk many times during my 2 week stay in Karachi in January of 2007.

During these travels through daak-khana chowk I noticed a traffic policeman trying to manage the traffic and failing miserably. Many people obeyed him while others just passed by as if he was not present there. I saw him in the mornings with a smile on the face, in the afternoons with a frown and in the evening he seemed to transform into a totally berserk monster. One evening I saw him lunging towards a motorcycle, which was going the wrong way, with both arms waving, as if to hit the rider. While motorcycle guy should,ve been cited, I couldn’t believe the actions of this policeman. He had appeared to have gone totally mad. He was waving both hands to traffic, stomping feet and cursing aloud at bus drivers.

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D.I.Khan to Peshawar – Traveling on Highway N55 – Part 4 of 4

Owais Mughal

In November 2009, we started our virtual journey on N55 Indus Highway from its zero point at Jamshoro (N55-Part I) and today after 13 months of stop and go journey we will hopefully reach its end on the Ring Road of Peshawar. When we reach there we will have covered 1256 km.

Following photo is N55’s approach to Friendship tunnel between Kohat and Dara Adam Khel – one of the landmarks you’ll see on today’s travels.

For a quick recap, in Part II we had traveled on the right bank of Indus and driven 333 km to reach Dera Ghazi Khan (N55-Part II). In Part III we covered further 214 km to reach Dera Ismail Khan (N55-PartIII) . Lets try to reach Peshawar today. It is 334 km from here and it reminds me of a naara which I once heard from participants of a juloos (procession) in Liaqatabad, Karachi which was going Peshawar “by foot” in 1990. One of their leaders was shouting on megaphone “Peshawar dur hai” and everybody else in the procession replied in chorus “jaana bhi zaroor hai”. These guys were apparently doing Karachi-Peshawar long march for some unknown demands. I was passing by on my Yamaha 50 and all I remember was this naara. So for us today on N55 – after a gap of 20 years – lets raise the same slogan again:

Peshawar dur hai
jana bhi zaroor hai

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D.G.Khan to D.I.Khan – Traveling on Highway N55 – Part 3 of 4

Owais Mughal

We started our journey on N55 Indus Highway from its zero point at Jamshoro (N55-Part I) and covered 384 kilometers to reach the city of Shikarpur (N55-Part I). In Part II we continued our journey on the right bank of Indus and drove 333 kilometers more to reach Dera Ghazi Khan (N55-Part II). Today we’ll pick up our journey just north west of Dera Ghazi Khan and try to reach Dera Ismail Khan before the end of this post.

Our title photo to the right is the famous Chogallah lookout of Dera Ismail Khan which we will visit towards the end of this post. This building was built in 1940 by the British as a lookout for law enforcement people. It is also the meeting point of 4 bazaars viz. Commisionary bazaar, Muslim bazaar, Bakhri bazaar and Kalan bazaar. Well more on D.I.Khan later. First we have to drive 214 km to reach it. Lets get out of Dera Ghazi Khan first. aao mere saath!
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Shikarpur to D.G.Khan – Traveling on Highway N55 – Part 2 of 4

Owais Mughal

We started our journey on N55 Indus Highway from its zero point at Jamshoro (N55-Part I) and covered 384 kilometers to reach the city of Shikarpur (N55-Part I). Today we’ll continue our journey on the right bank of Indus and will drive 333 kilometers more to reach Dera Ghazi Khan. We’ll pick up our journey just north west of Shikarpur. So lets rev up your engines and come with us.

Ghouspur (km marker 427)

A small town located on N55 at Km marker 427. The whole town is located on the south side of the highway where as north side of highway is without much hutments. Mostly comprises of green fields.

The map above shows the 60 km long alignment of highway N55 from Shikarpur to Kandhkot and passing through Ghouspur. Also visible is the circuitous river Indus just south of Ghouspur.
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Jamshoro to Shikarpur – Traveling on Highway N55 – Part 1 of 4

Owais Mughal

While most people knows a good deal about larger cities, the smaller ones get neglected and through these pages we try to highlight their points to possible fame. Our regular readers may remember our travels across highways N5 and N65. Today we are starting our journey on the second longest highway of Pakistan. It is famously called the Indus Highway because for most part of its length, this highway runs next to the river Indus. In National Highway Authroity (NHA)’s designation, Indus Highway is called N55. Its zero point is the city of Hyderabad in Sindh and its last point is the city of Peshawar in NWFP. The total length of this highway is 1265 kilometers. Today we’ll start our journey from Hyderabad and travel for 378km to the city of Shikarpur. Our route for today is designated in Yellow color in the map to the right-above.
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Rawalpindi to Torkham – Traveling on Highay N5 – Part 5 of 5

Owais Mughal

Five episodes ago, we started our journey on Pakistan’s longest highway N5 in Karachi (km 0). Today is the last episode of our travel and after covering 216 km we will reach the end point of N5, which is Torkham (km 1756) – the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Following are the maps of the travel that we will cover today.

Rawalpindi to Peshawar:

Peshawar to Torkham via Khyber Pass:

Let us resume our journey north west of Rawalpindi at N5 Kilometer Marker 1551 which is called the ‘Golra Mor’ junction to Islamabad.
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