Wider Eurasia
Geopolitical Chessboard: Pakistan’s BRICS Ambitions Amidst Russia’s 2024 Presidency

Pakistan’s intellectual and political circles regard BRICS as an essential platform for advancing the nation’s strategic and economic interests globally. Achieving this goal, however, demands meticulous navigation of geopolitical challenges, particularly with India, and crafting a persuasive argument for Pakistan’s inclusion in BRICS.

In the shifting global economic and geopolitical environment, the BRICS group—comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—stands out as a symbol of a diversifying global power structure, challenging the traditional dominance of Western economies. This alliance of burgeoning economies signals a move towards a global order that is fairer and more inclusive, aiming to amplify the voices of developing nations.

Within this context, Pakistan regards its potential membership in BRICS with a blend of hopeful anticipation and strategic prudence, acknowledging the opportunities as well as the challenges that this affiliation could bring. Pakistan’s application for membership in the latter half of 2023 underscores its sincere interest in joining BRICS, driven by both strategic considerations and practical benefits. This ambition enjoys widespread support across Pakistan’s intellectual and political domains, underscoring a unified stance towards becoming part of this influential group.

Pakistani analysts typically see BRICS as a counterpoint to Western economic supremacy, notably that of the G7, valuing the consortium’s focus on cooperative economic growth, sustainable development, and the sovereignty of political systems. China’s significant role within BRICS and its close alliance with Pakistan fosters a positive outlook towards the group, suggesting that membership could yield substantial benefits such as access to the New Development Bank (NDB), an uptick in foreign investment, and a bolstered diplomatic stance. Nonetheless, these experts also advise caution due to the geopolitical intricacies involved, particularly tensions with India, a major player in BRICS.

Multipolarity and Connectivity
Financial Settlements Within the BRICS Framework: Moving Forward, Despite Problems
Ivan Timofeev
Interest in elaborating the issue of financial settlements has been declared. Despite the differences in the motivation of the BRICS member countries, the very task of developing a settlement system within the BRICS and with third countries seems to be useful for them to one degree or another. The question is how sustainable will the work on the new financial infrastructure be and what results will it lead to?

Furthermore, under Russia’s 2024 presidency of BRICS, Pakistani scholars view this period as a strategic window to advance their membership bid, while acknowledging the need for careful diplomatic navigation and the adjustment of national policies to align with BRICS’ goals and member expectations. However, a minority voice within the expert community raises concerns about the potential repercussions of aligning too closely with a bloc seen as opposing Western alliances, pondering the impact on Pakistan’s relationships with powers like the United States and the European Union.

Contrastingly, political leaders in Pakistan downplay these concerns, arguing that BRICS membership aligns with Pakistan’s Comprehensive National Security Policy (NSP) and supports the country’s shift towards geo-economic strategies without entangling it in global bloc politics. They cite Pakistan’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as a precedent that has yielded strategic and diplomatic benefits, reinforcing the argument for pursuing BRICS membership.

The political stance in Pakistan towards BRICS is multifaceted, acknowledging the economic and diplomatic upsides of membership while recognising the hurdles, especially those posed by India’s opposition and the need for closer alignment with the economic and political norms of BRICS countries. Pakistani experts highlight how the country’s economic sectors, such as agriculture, textiles, and IT, could synergise with BRICS, fostering mutual growth. They also point to Pakistan’s strategic geographic positioning as a nexus for South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, enhancing regional connectivity and economic collaboration, which aligns with BRICS’ goals for a diversified and interconnected ‘Global South’.

Moreover, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is presented as a prime example of Pakistan’s capability to engage in significant infrastructure and development projects, mirroring the collaborative spirit of BRICS. However, the journey towards BRICS membership is approached with caution; analysts emphasise the need for strategic and diplomatic efforts to overcome challenges, notably the delicate relationship with India, one of the original BRICS nations.

In consolidating these viewpoints, it is clear that Pakistan’s intellectual and political circles regard BRICS as an essential platform for advancing the nation’s strategic and economic interests globally. Achieving this goal, however, demands meticulous navigation of geopolitical challenges, particularly with India, and crafting a persuasive argument for Pakistan’s inclusion in BRICS.


Emphasising Pakistan’s suitability for BRICS membership is essential, especially when considering the characteristics of countries which have recently been admitted to the group or are under consideration. Pakistan distinguishes itself by providing a blend of strategic, economic, and geopolitical strengths that closely resonate with BRICS’ foundational goals.

Integrating Pakistan into BRICS would broaden the group’s geographic diversity and amplify its negotiating power internationally. Positioned at the crossroads of South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, Pakistan offers critical connectivity for trade and energy pathways, essential to the BRICS nations’ economic aspirations. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) underscores Pakistan’s capacity for large-scale, cross-national projects in infrastructure and development, mirroring BRICS’ commitment to fostering regional connections and collective progress.

Pakistan’s economy, with its mix of agricultural, industrial, and emerging technological sectors, provides extensive opportunities for cooperation with BRICS countries. Pakistan’s dedication to multilateralism and active role in global forums complement BRICS’ mission to reshape international governance.

When comparing Pakistan with newer BRICS members, it becomes evident that Pakistan not only equals, but in many cases exceeds, their offerings in terms of economic collaboration and strategic benefits. This positions Pakistan as an exemplary candidate for BRICS, ready to significantly enhance the consortium’s objectives and draw from the group’s collective support and strength.

This inclusion would represent a pivotal moment for Pakistan’s diplomatic and economic policies and signify a broader impact for BRICS, demonstrating its growing role and inclusivity in global affairs.

Prospects for Cooperation Between Russia and Pakistan
Oleg Barabanov
On June 6, 2022, Moscow will host the first Russian-Pakistani expert dialogue between the Valdai Discussion Club and the analytical centre Pakistan House – International Think Tank. Previously, the Valdai Club has repeatedly participated in expert events in Pakistan, and experts from various Pakistani analytical centres  have taken part in Valdai Club events, such as the Club's Annual Meeting, and the Middle East and Central Asian Conferences.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.