Pakistan wants to join BRICS

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FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a press conference during the 15th BRICS Summit, via video link in Moscow, Russia, August 24, 2023. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS/File Photo

Pakistan has formally applied for membership in BRICS, the bloc of five emerging economies that includes India, Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa. This move comes as BRICS wants to gain recognition as a leading bloc in the Global South.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, spokesperson for Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, revealed the country’s formal request to join BRICS and described the bloc as an important group of developing countries that can help Pakistan on the international stage.

Baloch highlighted Pakistan’s warm relations with most BRICS members and hoped for the group to consider and advance Pakistan’s request in line with its commitment to inclusive multilateralism.

Several Pakistani high-ranking politicians expressed support for the government’s decision to join BRICS, noting the global shift towards regionalism and increased cooperation between countries.

Analysts perceive BRICS as a challenge to the dominant world order led by the United States and its Western allies. During the recent BRICS summit in South Africa, over 40 countries expressed interest in joining the group. The summit concluded with the announcement that six countries, including Egypt, Ethiopia, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran, would join in 2024.

However, some analysts expressed scepticism about the potential benefits for Pakistan, stating that aside from political statements, significant advantages may not materialize. There is an uncertain path ahead for Pakistan’s membership, as India will most likely express opposition. A previous incident, such as Pakistan’s blocked participation in a major policy dialogue event during the BRICS leadership summit in China, raised concerns about inclusivity within the bloc.

Pakistan has long had a rock-solid relationship with China, and it is now looking to gather support from Russia, which will host the next BRICS summit. The level of enthusiasm Pakistan receives from Moscow during Russia’s turn as BRICS chair could be crucial to Islamabad’s membership bid.

As of 2023, the original five BRICS nations represent 40% of the total world population, and 31.5% of global GDP, surpassing the 30.7% of the G-7 nations. Analysts predict that by 2050, BRICS economies could dominate the global economy, and the group’s expansion may enhance its influence in the existing global order.

 

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