Pakistan’s Quest For BRICS Membership – OpEd


In an era characterized by shifting global power dynamics, the BRICS consortium—comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—has steadily ascended as a formidable counterweight to the traditional dominance of the G7 nations. The consortium’s recent expansion announcement under South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, ushering in nations like Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, underscores its growing influence and the evolving contours of global geopolitics. Amid this transformative landscape, Pakistan’s strategic overtures to secure BRICS membership emerge as a pivotal diplomatic maneuver, reflecting its geopolitical aspirations, challenges, and recalibrated foreign policy imperatives.

Founded in 2010, BRICS initially centered its objectives on economic collaboration and highlighting investment opportunities. However, over the years, the consortium has evolved, transcending its economic origins to establish itself as a cohesive geopolitical entity. From the inception of the New Development Bank to the formulation of the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement and various multilateral initiatives, BRICS has progressively consolidated its influence, challenging the hegemony of the G7 and advocating for a more multipolar global order. With its expanded composition encompassing 42% of the global population and significant shares of global GDP, BRICS is poised to recalibrate global economic, political, and strategic narratives, fostering inclusivity, and amplifying the voices of emerging economies.

Pakistan’s strategic calculus in pursuing BRICS membership is anchored in multifaceted considerations that transcend mere economic collaboration. At the nexus of its aspirations lies BRICS’s foundational principles—non-interference, mutual benefit, equality, and inclusivity—which resonate with Islamabad’s foreign policy imperatives, regional commitments, and diplomatic engagements. As Pakistan navigates the complex geopolitics of South Asia, its engagement with BRICS offers a potential avenue to mitigate regional tensions, foster economic collaboration, and elevate its geopolitical stature on the global stage, aligning with its aspirations for regional stability, economic development, and international prominence.

However, Pakistan’s pursuit of BRICS membership is ensnared within intricate geopolitical dynamics, historical rivalries, and enduring regional tensions, predominantly with India. As a cornerstone member of BRICS, India’s entrenched opposition to Pakistan’s inclusion underscores the deep-seated bilateral animosities, security imperatives, and geopolitical complexities that have long characterized Indo-Pakistani relations. Despite Islamabad’s persistent endeavors to foster bilateral dialogue, promote regional peace, and enhance diplomatic engagements, India’s strategic imperatives within BRICS and broader international fora remain a significant impediment, necessitating Islamabad’s strategic recalibrations, diplomatic initiatives, and regional engagements.

Moreover, Pakistan’s burgeoning strategic alliance with China introduces nuanced geopolitical considerations that further complicate its BRICS aspirations. As Islamabad’s steadfast ally and strategic partner, China has championed Pakistan’s regional aspirations, economic development, and security concerns, fostering multifaceted engagements encompassing economic collaboration, strategic cooperation, and regional stability. However, China’s evolving geopolitical strategies, economic imperatives, and regional commitments necessitate a nuanced alignment with Pakistan’s BRICS aspirations, underscoring the intricate interplay of bilateral relations, regional dynamics, and strategic alignments shaping Islamabad’s engagement with BRICS.

Beyond bilateral tensions and regional rivalries, Pakistan’s engagement with BRICS encapsulates broader geopolitical imperatives, economic ambitions, and strategic recalibrations. Positioned at the crossroads of South Asian geopolitics, Pakistan’s strategic location, economic potential, and regional influence underscore its pivotal role in fostering regional integration, enhancing economic collaboration, and reshaping global governance paradigms. However, internal challenges, encompassing political instability, economic vulnerabilities, and security imperatives, underscore the complexities and constraints shaping Pakistan’s geopolitical engagements, strategic alignments, and international aspirations, necessitating comprehensive reforms, strategic initiatives, and regional cooperation frameworks.

Conclusively, Pakistan’s pursuit of BRICS membership epitomizes its strategic recalibrations, geopolitical aspirations, and evolving regional dynamics. As BRICS consolidates its influence, fosters inclusivity, and reshapes global governance paradigms, Pakistan’s integration into this influential consortium could catalyze a new era of regional cooperation, economic development, and geopolitical influence. Yet, navigating the intricate geopolitical landscape demands strategic foresight, diplomatic finesse, and regional cooperation, underscoring Islamabad’s imperative to harmonize its aspirations with geopolitical realities, regional dynamics, and strategic partnerships in its quest for BRICS membership. As Pakistan navigates this transformative landscape, fostering bilateral dialogue, promoting regional cooperation, and enhancing diplomatic engagements remain paramount, underscoring the imperatives of strategic initiatives, comprehensive reforms, and regional collaboration in shaping its geopolitical trajectory and international prominence.

Sudhanshu Roy

Sudhanshu Roy is a student of Asian Studies.

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