The Foreign Office (FO) on Monday confirmed that a member of the five-nation summit BRICS “blocked Pakistan’s participation” in a dialogue for non-member states held virtually on the sidelines of the event last week.
The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) brings together five of the largest developing countries in the world, representing 41 per cent of the global population, 24pc of the global GDP and 16pc of the global trade.
This year, China is hosting the summit in its capacity as the chair of the group.
On June 24, leaders of two dozen non-member countries of the BRICS’ “High-level Dialogue on Global Development” attended the meeting virtually. However, Pakistan remained absent from the meeting.
Today, in response to media queries over the matter, the FO, without naming the country, said: “Regrettably one member blocked Pakistan’s participation.”
It is believed that the country blocking Pakistan’s participation was India as both do not share a pleasant relationship and are embroiled in disputes, most prominently over the territory of Kashmir, that go back decades.
However, the FO continued, “we do hope that future engagement of the organisation would be based on the principles of inclusivity keeping in view the overall interests of the developing world and in a manner that is devoid of narrow geo-political considerations”.
Pakistan then went on to congratulate China for successfully hosting the BRICS meeting.
“We appreciate China’s role in promoting the interests of the developing countries. Together with China, Pakistan has been a strong voice for global peace, shared prosperity and inclusive development. Pakistan is the current chair of G77+China and also part of group of friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI),” it said.
The FO added that Pakistan and China were all-weather strategic partners and their “iron brotherhood” was rock solid. “The two countries are fully committed to take our all-round cooperation to higher levels both bilaterally and multilaterally.”
It further expressed resolve that Pakistan was ready to stand with all developing countries, including the BRICS members for addressing the challenges faced by the global community.
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‘Pak-China maintain close communication’
Meanwhile, China said that Pakistan was an important member of the group of friends of the Global Development Initiative.
According to a Radio Pakistan report, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China highly valued Pakistan’s important role in advancing the implementation of the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
He made the remarks during his regular press briefing, the report said. Lijian went on to say that China and Pakistan maintained close communication and coordination.
We have conducted substantial cooperation in the field of development which has delivered tangible benefits to the people of both countries and the region, he said, adding that China would continue to work with Pakistan to advance the global development agenda.