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M-2 motorway (Pakistan)

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M-2 motorway
ایم ٢ موٹروے
لاہور-اسلام آباد موٹروے
Route information
Part of AH1 AH4
Maintained by National Highway Authority
Length375 km (233 mi)
Major junctions
North end Islamabad
Major intersections M-4 Motorway Interchange
M-3 Motorway Interchange
Babu Sabu Interchange
South end Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore
Major citiesChakwal
Kallar Kahar
Pindi Bhattian
Kot Abdul Malik
Highway system

The M-2 Motorway or the Lahore–Islamabad Motorway (Urdu: لاہور-اسلام آباد موٹروے) is a north–south motorway in Pakistan, connecting Rawalpindi/Islamabad to Lahore, and is the first motorway to have been built in South Asia.[1] The M-2 is 375 km long and located entirely in Punjab. It continues on to eventually become the M-1 motorway, which terminates in Peshawar. The M-2 crosses the junction of M-4 (to Faisalabad) at Pindi Bhattian and M-3 (to Multan) at Dera Saithan Wala. The motorway is also a part of the Asian Highway AH1. The motorway was constructed during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's rule and cost over Rs. 60 billion (equivalent to US$2.8 billion in 2023) and was opened in November 1997. One of the most expensive motorways in Asia, it also has one of the highest pillared-bridges in Asia at the Khewra Salt Range section.[2]

There are ten service and rest areas on both sides of the motorway, with fueling, car wash, and car-repair facilities, and fast-food restaurants such as KFC, McDonald's, and Gloria Jean's Coffees, among others.[3]

In 2016, the entire motorway was resurfaced—work that stretched over several months. New toll plazas were installed on every interchange. They are payable with a new M-tag system that was introduced in December 2021.[4]


The M-2 was conceived by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his first term (1990–1993). The contract was awarded to Daewoo Group of South Korea on 30 December 1991 at a cost of Rs. 23,686 billion on a design-cum-construct basis. The original contract was for a four-lane facility.

Daewoo provided a loan of $379 million as supplier's credit, covering 40% of the construction cost. The loaned amount would eventually grow to $702 million. The other 60% of the cost would be paid by the government.[5]

The motorway was inaugurated on November 26, 1997, during Sharif's second term.[6] In late 2006, upgrades were made to the portion of the M-2 passing through the Salt Range due to increasing complaints of drivers. The upgrades included better marking of the road lines and increased size of road signs for easy visibility.[7] In 2016, the M-2 motorway was resurfaced for a smooth and safer drive.


The motorway passing through the Salt Range

The M-2 starts to the west of Lahore, at the Thokar Niaz Baig junction of N-5 (National Highway No. 5). Once it crosses the Ravi River, it diverges from the N-5 (also known as GT or Grand Trunk Road) and heads west towards Sheikhupura. After passing the Sheikhupura Interchange, the Khanqah Dogran Interchange comes at a distance of 36 km from the Sheikhupura Interchange. Once at Pindi Bhattian, it crosses the M-4 junction and turns north-west. It continues all the way to Kallar Kahar, where it enters the Salt Ranges. Once past the Salt Range, the M-2 turns north and ends just west of Rawalpindi at the junction between the Islamabad Link Road and M-1. It then continues on to eventually become the M-1 motorway, linking Islamabad and Rawalpindi with Peshawar.

The whole stretch of the M-2 consists of six lanes, and there are a number of rest areas along the route, with washroom and eating facilities.


M-2 Motorway Junctions
Interchange Junction West bound exits East bound exits
M-2 Zero Point, Lahore Start of motorway Road continues as Abdul Sattar Edhi Road to Lahore
N-5 – to Multan N-5 – to Lahore, Canal Bank Road to Lahore
Babu Sabu Interchange Band Road to Chowk Yatim Khana, LRR Band Road to Chowk Yatim Khana, LRR
M-3 Lahore-Abdul Hakeem  AbdHk  M-3 – Lahore-Abdul Hakeem Motorway M-3 – Lahore-Abdul Hakeem Motorway
Faiz Pure Interchange Lahore-Jaranwala Road to Jaranwala Lahore-Jaranwala Road to Shahdara Town, Lahore
Kot Abdul Malik Interchange N-60 – to Sheikhupura N-60 – to Lahore
Kala Shah Kaku Interchange Lahore Bypass to Kala Shah Kaku & N-5 Lahore Bypass to Kala Shah Kaku & N-5
Sheikhupura Interchange Gujranwala–Sheikhupura Road to Sheikhupura Gujranwala–Sheikhupura Road to Gujranwala
Hiran Minar Interchange Jandiala–Sheikhupura Road to Hiran Minar, Sheikhupura Jandiala–Sheikhupura Road to Jandiala Sher Khan
Khanqah Dogran Interchange Khanqah Dogran Road to Khanqah Dogran Khanqah Dogran Road to Hafizabad
Sukheki Interchange Hafizabad-Sukheki Road to Sukheki Hafizabad-Sukheki Road to Hafizabad
M-4 Pindi Bhattian-Multan  Mltn  M-4 – Pindi Bhattian-Multan Motorway M-4 – Pindi Bhattian-Multan Motorway
Pindi Bhattian Interchange Wazirabad Road to Pindi Bhattian, Chiniot & Jhang Wazirabad Road to Wazirabad
Makhdoom Interchange Sial-Phalia Road to Sial More & Sargodha Sial-Phalia Road to Phalia & Gujrat
Kot Momin Interchange Kot Momin, Bhalwal Bhabra
Saalam Interchange Sargodha-Gujrat Road to Bhalwal, Sargodha Sargodha-Gujrat Road to Mandi Bahauddin
Bhera Interchange Bhera-Jhawarian Road to Jhawarian, Shahpur Bhera-Jhawarian Road to Bhera, Malakwal
Lilla Interchange Pind Dadan Khan-Lilla Road to Lilla Town, Khushab Pind Dadan Khan-Lilla Road to Pind Dadan Khan, Jhelum
Kallar Kahar Interchange Kallar Kahar Choa Saidanshah, Katas Raj Temples
Balkasar Interchange Talagang-Chakwal Road to Balkassar, Talagang Talagang-Chakwal Road to Chakwal
Neelah Dullah Interchange M-2 Neela-Basti Abdullah Road to Neela Neela-Basti Abdullah Road to Basti Abdullah & Bhagwal
Chakri Interchange Chakri Road to Chakri Chakri Road to Rawalpindi
Thalian Interchange Airport Avenue to New Islamabad Airport Thalian Road to Thalian
M-2-M1 Junction, Islamabad Islamabad Motorways Link Road to Islamabad/Rawalpindi Islamabad Motorways Link Road to Islamabad/Rawalpindi
Road continues as M-1 to Peshawar Start of M-2

Fuel stations and Service Areas[edit]

Kallar kahar service area on M-2

Fuel Stations are only available at 5 locations on each side of the road (North & South), These places are called Services Areas (or قیام و طعام)

  • Sukheki Services Area - سکھیکی قیام و طعام
  • Sial Services Area - سیال قیام و طعام
  • Bhera Services Area – بھیرہ قیام و طعام
  • Kalar Kahar Services Area - کلر کہار قیام و طعام
  • Chakri Services Area - چکری قیام و طعام

These services areas are on both sides of the roads, as crossing from inside the motorway is not possible. While coming from Lahore to Islamabad, the Services Areas are called North Sides (going towards north) whereas coming back towards Lahore the services areas are called South Sides (going towards South Side). For example, Sukheki North Service Area is when a traveller is coming from Lahore to Islamabad, while Sukheki South Services Area is found when going towards Lahore. Average distance between any two service areas is 60–80 km.

Rest areas[edit]

Other than Services Areas for the facilities of commuters, the FWO has granted licences for Rest Areas with some basic services. The Rest Areas are being operated by private investors under the supervision of Frontier Works Organization (FWO). Bake & Bite is operating these Rest Areas. Moreover, the Rest Areas contain the following services/amenities on each side of the location:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Malik, Ahmad Rashid (3 September 2008). M2- Motorway Pakistan-Japan Relations: Continuity and Change in Economic Relations and Security Interests. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-04196-1.
  2. ^ "Lahore-Islamabad Motorway". 70 Years of Impact : SMEC. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  3. ^ PAF Conducts Fighter Operations From Motorway Pakistan Air Force website, Published 2 April 2010, Retrieved 10 October 2021
  4. ^ "Unregistered vehicles queued after mandatory imposition of M-tag on motorway". Dunya News. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  5. ^ Motorway cost exceeds Rs60 billion Dawn (newspaper), Published 4 December 2002, Retrieved 10 October 2021
  6. ^ "November 26, 1997: New motorway opens in Pakistan". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  7. ^ Alistair Scrutton (16 December 2009). "Failed state? Try Pakistan's M2 motorway". Dawn (newspaper). Archived from the original on 25 February 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2021.

External links[edit]