ISLAMABAD: The Executive Council of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Economic Cooperation Organization (PAECO) has unanimously condemned gross human rights violations being committed by Indian forces in occupied territories of the Jammu Kashmir State. In its landmark outcome document, they urged to include the draft of the Islamabad Declaration to be adopted on the conclusion of the PAECO session on June 2. The forum extended unanimous support to the oppressed peoples of Kashmir and Palestine. The council meeting was attended by all the speakers from ECO countries. On the proposal of Afghanistan and Turkey, the Executive Council unanimously elected National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser as chairperson of the Executive Council. The Executive Council approved rules of business of PAECO in order to make it functional. PAECO BRANCHES The council also agreed to the proposal of establishing PAECO branches in the parliament of each ECO member countries. Furthermore, the Executive Council formed three committees to deliberate on issues of trade and ECOTA, communication and connectivity, women, youth and cultural affairs. Also, the council accepted proposal of Afghanistan for hosting third PAECO conference. Prior to meeting of the Executive Council, meeting of secretaries of General Council was chaired by National Assembly Secretary Tahir Hussain and matters related to PAECO agenda, its rules, formation of committee and hosting of third conference of PAECO was deliberated upon with secretaries of participating parliamentary delegations. The occurrence of this conference despite of COVID-19 is success of speaker’s effort for strengthening parliamentary diplomacy. The formulation of the Parliamentary Assembly is the result of Pakistan’s effort to promote regional cooperation as PAECO Secretariat has also been established in the National Assembly in Islamabad.