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Pakistan applies for BRICS membership: FO

‘We have taken this decision after having noted the BRICS related developments in Johannesburg,’ says FO spox
Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch addresses a weekly press briefing in Islamabad on November 23, 2023. Screengrab via Aaj TV
Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch addresses a weekly press briefing in Islamabad on November 23, 2023. Screengrab via Aaj TV

Pakistan has made a formal request to join BRICS, a group of major emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said on Thursday.

“We have taken this decision after having noted the BRICS related developments in Johannesburg,” she was quoted as saying by Radio Pakistan at a weekly press briefing in Islamabad.

The development comes a couple of days after the BRICS group of nations called for an immediate and sustained humanitarian truce in Gaza during an extraordinary summit on the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

By joining the organisation, she said that Pakistan could play an important role in furthering international cooperation and revitalising inclusive multilateralism.

She hoped that BRICS would move forward on Pakistan’s request in line with its commitment to inclusive multilateralism.

“Pakistan enjoys friendly ties with most members of BRICS as well as the newly invited group of countries,” she said, “Pakistan is an ardent supporter of multilateralism and is a member of several multilateral organizations. The country has played an important role in global peace and development.”

When asked about the conspiracy foiled by the United States to assassinate a Sikh leader, the spokesperson recalled that Pakistan has long been a “target of India’s state sponsored terrorism, subversion and espionage.”

She claimed that India’s network of espionage and extraterritorial killings has gone global. “India’s irresponsible and reckless conduct is a clear violation of international laws.”

In response to a query about the banning of Halal Food in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Baloch said that it was yet “another manifestation” of increasing Islamophobia in India. She added that banning Halal Food was an affront to the rights and freedoms of Muslims in India.

She went on to add that Pakistan was concerned over the terror threat emanating from Afghanistan. “We expect the Afghan authorities to take immediate action against the terrorist entities so that they do not pose any threat to us.”

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Pakistan awaits ceasefire in Gaza

At the press briefing, she said that the country was “eagerly awaiting” a ceasefire in Gaza to allow for humanitarian aid into the besieged strip.

Pakistan was firm in its stance in calling for a viable and sovereign Palestinian state on pre-1967 borders with Al-Quds as its capital, Baloch added.

The Foreign Office spokesperson added that World Children’s Day had been observed while highlighting that over 6,000 children were killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.

Pakistan supported the call for an international peace conference on the Palestinian question, she added. At the BRICS summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping had called for such a moot to address the war.

“We believe that peace in the region can only be achieved with the implementation of the relevant UN resolutions calling for a two-state solution, culminating in a viable, sovereign, and geographically-contiguous Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.”

Israel had recently agreed to a four-day ceasefire in Gaza in exchange for hostages that is set to begin on Friday.

Baloch added that caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar would participate in the World Action Summit in the United Arab Emirates in December which would focus on steps against climate change.

She added that Kakar would also have several high-level engagements on the sidelines of the summit.

Baloch also announced that caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani would visit Belgium to participate in a summit on refugees as well.

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Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra

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