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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pakistan’s Bid to Join BRICS – Will India Block Pakistan?

Brics Pakistan India ban

Pakistan has officially expressed its desire to join the BRICS, an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This move has been speculated for some time, and on Thursday, Pakistan’s foreign ministry confirmed that the application has been filed.

The Approval Process

The approval process for joining BRICS is Unanimous. If all current members agree, Pakistan can join the group. However, if even one member disagrees, Pakistan cannot join. This leads to an obvious question: will India agree?

India and Pakistan in International Groups

India and Pakistan are members of several international groups, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). However, the circumstances were different when they joined the SCO in 2017. Neither side had to approve the other. But in BRICS, Pakistan needs India’s approval.

The Controversy of BRICS Expansion

The expansion of BRICS has been a controversial issue. China and Russia have been pushing for it, but India is not keen. For India, BRICS is about multipolarity and giving voice to the global South. But for Russia and China, BRICS is seen as an anti-America club.

Brics Pakistan India ban

To meet halfway, at this year’s BRICS summit, six new members were formally invited to join: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Ethiopia, Egypt, Iran, and Argentina. These are countries that India can work with, so New Delhi agreed to give them membership.

Can Pakistan be the Next Member?

If India opposes it, Pakistan cannot become the next member. All BRICS decisions are taken unanimously, meaning every member has a Veto. So, India can block Pakistan’s membership.

In fact, Islamabad has accused India of doing something similar in 2022. China hosted the BRICS summit and invited a number of developing countries for a “BRICS Plus” dialogue. However, Pakistan did not get the invite. Their foreign office lashed out at this decision, stating that one member was blocking their participation.

Brics Pakistan India ban

Why is Pakistan Trying Again?

Reports suggest that Pakistan is hoping for Russian support this time. Moscow is chairing the BRICS summit in 2024 and will play a key role in deciding possible member candidates. Only Russia can make India rethink. South Africa and Brazil are not close enough to New Delhi, and China is out of the question. So, that leaves us with Moscow. They could use their close ties to try and change India’s mind.

Is Pakistan a Good Candidate for BRICS?

Looking at it objectively, Pakistan’s candidacy for BRICS raises several questions. They’re living on bailouts from the International Monetary Fund, their Inflation is over 31%, and their Democracy exists only on paper.

Pakistan is a known sponsor of terrorism, their politics is unstable, their military leadership is coup-hungry, and their national debt is way too high. If they join, they will be the weakest link in the chain, or in this case, the weakest brick on the wall.

Conclusion

For Pakistan, BRICS is an opportunity. It represents around 41% of the global population, 24% of the global GDP, and 16% of global trade. Joining BRICS opens up more opportunities for Pakistan, whether it’s trade, investments, or political support.

China, too, would love to have Pakistan in BRICS. Imagine having 2 seats at the same table. That’s all the more reason for India to be wary. We haven’t heard any response from New Delhi, but a decision will have to be made. The next BRICS summit is in October 2024, and Russia will be looking to finalize the candidate list in advance.

Unlike the United Nations, there is no extension here. It’s either yes or no.

Brics Pakistan India ban

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