MOSCOW/ISLAMABAD (The Thursday Times) — Pakistan has officially submitted a request to join the BRICS group of nations, aiming to strengthen its global economic and diplomatic ties. This initiative, confirmed by Pakistani authorities, underscores Islamabad’s intent to engage more deeply with emerging economic powers.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, in a recent statement to the press, announced the country’s formal application to the BRICS bloc, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. “Pakistan is keen on joining BRICS, a significant consortium of developing nations,” Baloch stated, highlighting the potential benefits of such an alliance for Pakistan.
The recent appointment of Muhammad Khalid Jamali as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Russia further cements the country’s diplomatic efforts in this regard. In an interview with Russian state media, Ambassador Jamali revealed Pakistan’s plans to join BRICS under Russia’s presidency in 2024, emphasising the importance of Russian support during this process.
Ambassador Jamali’s remarks resonate with the statements from the Russian Foreign Ministry, indicating an imminent expansion of the BRICS membership. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, earlier in October, mentioned that BRICS, during its Russian chairmanship, is looking to expand its “circle of friends” to include more nations, particularly from Latin America. This initiative aligns with the bloc’s goals of enhancing international cooperation and fostering inclusive multilateralism.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar had previously met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at Beijing in October. This meeting, their first since Kakar’s appointment in August, focused on key regional and international issues, with a special emphasis on trade, investment, and energy. Kakar, attending the third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, emphasised the need for enhanced regional integration for the economic development of the entire region. The Prime Minister Office noted that the two leaders expressed satisfaction with the expanding Pakistan-Russia relations and discussed various aspects including the evolving Middle East situation and Eurasian connectivity.
Kakar reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to strengthening bilateral cooperation with Russia in trade, investment, energy, connectivity, and counterterrorism. Highlighting the potential for increased cooperation, President Putin acknowledged the growing trade relations, notably Russia’s supply of around one million tons of cereals to Pakistan this fiscal year.
Russia’s ties with Pakistan span a length of over seven decades. This newspaper had previously written about a potential repair of relations with the Russians; read Mending Pakistan’s ties with Russia.