Pakistan’s regional and multilateral commitments are headed in the right direction with the caretaker Prime Minister participating in the summit of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO). ECO, despite its shortcomings, is an important regional organisation and making it functional in areas of trade, transport, and connectivity will very much benefit the member countries. Subsequent participation of the caretaker PM in the emergency conference of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Palestine, which will be convened in Saudi Arabia, reflects the country’s steadfastness in its moral and principled commitments.
The ECO forum is an opportunity for Pakistan to engage bilaterally with member countries. Being hosted for the first time in Uzbekistan, this summit holds significance. Uzbekistan, in the past few months, has surfaced as the host of many important multilateral forums. Being an important country in Central Asia and also a member country of the Trans Afghan Railway Project (the joint connectivity venture of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan), Uzbekistan can be considered Pakistan’s key partner. In times when the country is actively looking for projects and bilateral cooperation that can benefit it economically, close cooperation with Central Asian countries will be helpful.
Being one of the three founding members of ECO, Pakistan’s presence and commitment to Vision 2025 will motivate other members to follow suit. For the Muslim world, the ongoing Gaza situation is very challenging and though ECO’s prime agenda revolves around trade and economics, the summit can still be a solidarity forum and a message must come out of it. The following OIC conference is, however, definitely expected to present the stance of the Muslim world on Israel’s unjust war on Gaza.
Pakistan has, in its 76 years of existence, stood firmly in its economic as well as moral commitments. The ECO summit is a shred of evidence of Pakistan seeking economic relations with the countries of the region, while participation in the OIC conference speaks for the country’s unwavering stance on humanitarian causes, especially where violence is inflicted on Muslims.