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Pakistan’s aspirations to join the influential BRICS group face a roadblock as member nations struggle to reach a unanimous decision. While Russia, the current BRICS president, expresses reservations about Pakistan’s economic standing and the need for consensus, China, a key member, has shown support for Pakistan’s inclusion.

BRICS, originally an alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, aims to foster economic cooperation among major emerging economies. Recently, the group expanded to include six new members – UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, and Argentina. However, Argentina’s withdrawal has brought the total membership to 10.

Pakistan’s desire to join BRICS stems from the group’s growing influence on the global stage, particularly as a voice for the “Global South.” However, Russia’s hesitation regarding Pakistan’s economic profile and the requirement for all members’ approval pose a significant challenge.

While China, a close ally of Pakistan, might advocate for inclusion, India, another key member, has historically maintained a strained relationship with Pakistan. This raises concerns about whether India would endorse Pakistan’s bid.

Pakistan might find an alternative route to regional integration through the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). China has reportedly expressed support for Pakistan’s membership in the SCO. However, the criteria for membership differ between the two organizations.