Route 16


Celebrating Diversity

Our Story

Adnan’s travels to the northern mountains of Pakistan always fascinated Sobia. Before her wish of a road trip could materialize, she left for Harvard Kennedy School in 2015.

While orienting herself to the new environment, she got to know of student-led trips to various countries. Sobia got excited at leading a trip to Pakistan, but soon realized that this was easier said than done. The international community gravely misunderstood Pakistan, primarily because of the narrative on popular media.


She messaged Adnan to arrange the promised road trip. Thinking that she will not be back for two years, he made a rash commitment: “give me 6 weeks’ notice, and I will arrange it for you”. She immediately called him and said, “how about you organize something during my spring break (March 2016), and I will bring my friends (from Harvard) along”.

And so, on a sunny October morning in Boston, 2015, Adnan and Sobia got on their first official skype call to deliberate on what the Pakistan Trek would be.

It perhaps took a while for both of them to absorb the commitment that they had taken upon themselves. However, it bound them together in what seemed like a mutual dream all along. The two resolved to change Pakistan’s narrative by bringing people to experience not only the country’s natural beauty, but the warmth and hospitality of its people, its trials, tribulations, and challenges as well.

The two have recently left their executive careers in finance to give their entire span of attention to developing the tourism business, both domestic and international. This is how the Pakistan Trek started and later on culminated into formation of this business Route16 - a journey to new life!

Our Aspirations


Change Pakistan’s narrative beyond the headlines by inviting international travelers and exposing them to the scenic beauty, rich heritage and extraordinary hospitality of Pakistan.


Curate holidays and travel plans which are not only thrilling, adventurous, and full of fun but also meaningful by combining social work with vacations
From breaking bread with locals to high profile meetings
From staying in estate homes to camping on mountain tops
From pony treks, white water rafting to teaching at a local school


Cater to a diverse group of people keeping in mind their interests Artists, writers and poets
Yoga, meditation and wellness groups
Solo travelers and women only groups
Golden agers in their 70s & 80s
Young adults setting out to discover themselves
International travelers
Students (international/local) looking to learn about the world


Support communities, especially the youth, create work opportunities through tourism, spread knowledge and engage in philanthropic activities, while striving to create a positive environmental footprint.

Sobia Maqbool

With her newly discovered passion for road trips, Sobia led the first trek to Pakistan from Harvard University in 2016. From never having given much thought to the high mountains that stood a 1,000 miles to her north, she has come to find a part of herself in these majestic wonders. She is now the go-to person for her friends and family when it comes to travel to the northern areas of Pakistan.

Until 2015, she had been single-mindedly focused on furthering her career in the financial sector. Her career mainstay of 12 years has been with a credit rating agency where she rated several sovereign counties and over a hundred corporates including banks. Sobia held the CFA Charter from 2010 to 2016.

She then took a break from work to pursue a second masters from Harvard Kennedy School and re-examined her life interests. In 2021, she quit her job to venture on new paths with Route16!

Two areas that are now the focus of her interest are travel and financial inclusion. Her friends describe her as passionate, a go-getter, and someone who continuously pushes herself - always wanting to do more. On a personal note, she is the youngest of four siblings and surrounded by nieces and nephews; all of whom dot on her.

Adnan Afaq

Even after having been toppled over by his horse, Sher Khan, Adnan’s love for him stands strong. We are unsure if his bond with horses was a deliberate choice or just an outcome of his circumstances; to quote one of his witch sisters, “we did not let him get on a broom stick so he learnt to ride horses”.

Adnan spends his spare time riding horses, raising dogs, coaching young professionals and roaming the outbound. While Adnan dwells in the city, his soul resides in the mountains - it all started at the age of 16, when he made his first 100 mile hike all the way to Makra Peak.

He has been devoted to helping communities and in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake, Adnan spent two years rebuilding an entire village of 160 homes up in the mountains.

Adnan is a senior Chartered Accountant and banker - former CEO of Askari Investments and Pakistan Credit Rating Agency. He spent a lifetime setting up institutions [two banks, an asset management company, and a credit rating agency] and pursuing bank acquisition. He now sits on various boards of listed companies as director.

In 2020, he decided to quit his executive career to pursue his lifelong dream and is now devoted to Route16.