Motorbikes are apparently banned from midnight. And Thursday has been a public holiday. It can mean only one thing, a gathering of presidents in Pakistan. The leaders of the D8 are assembling tonight as part of a summit designed to promote trade between Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey – eight mainly Muslim developing countries. But of course security will have to be tight:
Islamabad rarely hosts major international gatherings given the Taliban and al Qaeda-linked violence that has plagued the country since the 9/11 attacks.
Security will be stepped up significantly, not least as the summit coincides with the month of Muharram, a magnet for sectarian attacks in Pakistan.
This is a chance for Pakistan to try to position itself as a voice in world affairs. But will it be overshadowed by events in the Middle East?