Pakistan confirms it has applied for BRICS membership

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday confirmed that it has applied for membership in the BRICS grouping.

Pakistan’s application to join the five-nation bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa came as the grouping of emerging economies was set for its biggest expansion with six new members under Moscow’s rotating Presidency in 2024.

This year’s BRICS summit held in South Africa formally admitted Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as new members. They will formally join during the 2024 summit in Russia.

“Yes, I can confirm that Pakistan has made a formal request to join BRICS, which we believe is an important grouping of developing countries,” Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said in her weekly press briefing.

Baloch said Pakistan enjoys friendly ties with most of the BRICS members, as well as the newly invited group of countries. As an ardent supporter of multilateralism and a member of several multilateral organisations, Pakistan has played an important role for global peace and development, she said.

“We believe that by joining BRICS, Pakistan can play an important role in furthering international cooperation and revitalising inclusive multilateralism. We also hope that BRICS will move forward on Pakistan’s request in line with its commitment to inclusive multilateralism,” she said.

Quoting Pakistan’s envoy to Moscow Muhammad Khalid Jamali, Russia’s official TASS news agency reported that Islamabad has filed an application to join the BRICS group of nations in 2024 and is counting on Moscow’s assistance during the membership process.

Jamali said Islamabad plans to join the group under Russia’s presidency next year.

“Pakistan would like to be part of this important organisation and we are in the process of contacting member countries for extending support to Pakistan’s membership in general and the Russian Federation in particular,” he said.

The TASS report said that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in early October that BRICS plans to agree on a list of candidates for partner-state status ahead of the upcoming summit in Kazan in 2024.

While Pakistan, currently facing its worst economic and political crisis perhaps can count on the support of its all-weather ally China, it is to be seen how the other four members, Brazil, Russia India and South Africa would react to the proposal to admit Islamabad.