Pakistan is scheduled to host a multination conference in Islamabad next week aimed at increasing trade and cooperation between regional countries.
Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz told reporters on February 25 that the Economic Cooperation Organization Summit on March 1 will look at issues including international trade, energy, tourism, economic growth, productivity, social welfare, and environment.
The ECO grouping was formed by Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey in 1985, succeeding the Regional Cooperation for Development that they had established in 1964.
Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan joined seven years later.
The conference will be held in the backdrop of rising violent attacks claimed by the Islamic State (IS) militant group, the Taliban, and others throughout Pakistan in recent weeks, leading the authorities to curtail some social events.