Pakistan’s desire to join BRICS is officially declared. Pakistan’s entry into the bloc will create new opportunities for strategic and commercial partnerships. Pakistan has stepped up its diplomatic attempts to win over the bloc’s members, particularly Russia. For Pakistan to become a member of this bloc, all other members must agree. It is still pending if India will back Pakistan’s bid. However, the circumstances highlight the importance of positive ties with India. Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are the five emerging economies that comprise the international organization called BRICS.
BRICS organizes yearly meetings centered on economic, security, and development cooperation. It promotes greater integration of the Global South in international affairs and a multipolar world order. Restructuring Western-dominated financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF has been a frequent demand of the group. The BRICS nations later founded the “New Development Bank,” a financial organization of their own, in 2014.
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Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates were among the six new members welcomed after the 15th BRICS conference in August 2023. With the accession of six more members, the BRICS will account for 30% of the global economy and 40% of the world’s population and have a combined GDP of $30.76 trillion.
Moreover, according to the chief diplomat representing South Africa in dealings with the bloc, around 40 countries indicated interest in joining the group. Formally, fourteen nations have expressed their desire to participate in 2023. October 2024 will see Russia serve as the summit’s chair. It will be crucial in determining which country submits the proposal for the next meeting.
Pakistan does not anticipate resistance from China, South Africa, or Brazil. Additionally, it has asked Russia to back its bid to join the BRICS. To gain Russia’s cooperation, Pakistan must ensure a trade-off. Khalid Jamali, Pakistan’s recently appointed envoy to Russia, stated to TASS, the Russian news agency, that his country opposes sanctions against Russia. He said Pakistan’s imports from Russia increased by 154% in 2023. He said Pakistan will accept “Mir,” a Russian e-card payment method. Pakistan supports Russia diplomatically and through trade. Russia will back Pakistan in the BRICS in exchange.
It’s still debatable, but many wonder if India will bid on Pakistan. Both nations have tense historical ties, intense mistrust, and even hostility. China invited several non-members to the virtual discussion at the BRICS-Plus summit in 2022, but India allegedly prevented Pakistan from attending. India might not back Pakistan’s proposal because BRICS requires a unanimous choice. Pakistan and India have, nevertheless, previously belonged to the same group as the SCO and SAARC. Since both nations joined the SCO in 2017, they did not need each other’s approval.
With its faltering economy, Pakistan can benefit from new economic connections and arrangements made by BRICS. Pakistan will be able to broaden its ties and strengthen its collaboration with the other participants. It can be a sizable market for the BRICS countries, resulting in cooperative relationships that benefit all parties. It also promotes a more impartial international structure consistent with the BRICS’s ongoing focus on multipolarity.
Additionally, BRICS may strengthen ties between India and Pakistan. Despite its early reluctance, India is now in favor of BRICS expansion. Its ongoing competition with Pakistan may be the reason behind its resistance to Pakistan’s membership. However, if India responds favorably, this might offer Pakistan and India a platform to strengthen their commerce and collaboration and eventually work through their difficulties.
It would still be an accomplishment to be a partner state even if Pakistan is not granted full membership. The 15th BRICS Summit in 2023 aimed to broaden the scope of BRICS by creating partner state status. Before the 2024 summit, the BRICS intends to decide on a list of applicants for partner-state positions, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. Unknown at this point is the future course of these diplomatic efforts.
Therefore, to fulfill Pakistan’s desire to join BRICS, we must have cordial ties with India, our immediate neighbor. Our policymakers and bureaucrats must act knowingly to foster mutual trust between India and Pakistan. Many difficulties facing both nations call for cooperation and understanding between them. If relations between Pakistan and India had been positive, joining the BRICS would not have been difficult.