Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs meets
ISLAMABAD - Islamabad is concerned about potential vetoes from India regarding Pakistan’s inclusion in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) group, a parliamentary body meeting was told yesterday.
The Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs convened at the Parliament House was chaired by Senator Farooq Hamid Naek to discuss the matter. The meeting commenced with a comprehensive briefing provided by the Caretaker Foreign Minister, Jalil Abbas Jilani, regarding Pakistan’s efforts to secure full membership in BRICS.
The FM delved into the historical context and objectives of BRICS, highlighting its recent expansion to include member states such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Argentina, Egypt, and Ethiopia. He emphasized that BRICS expansion relied on members’ unanimous consensus. He said Pakistan was actively exploring the possibility of joining this group due to its goals of reshaping the International Financial Architecture and reducing dependency on the US dollar.
About India’s possible negative role, FM Jilani reassured that any member resorting to such a veto jeopardizes its own standing within the group. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has initiated a consultation process with relevant stakeholders to streamline Pakistan’s entry into BRICS, he added.
He also emphasized Pakistan’s commitment to not engaging in regional power bloc politics, aiming instead for positive relations with all nations. Responding to questions about Pakistan’s relationship with the United States, the Foreign Minister highlighted the global ramifications of conflicts, such as the Russia-Ukraine situation. He underscored Pakistan’s policy of maintaining positive relationships with all nations, given the interconnectedness of today’s world.
The Committee Chairman inquired about the advantages and disadvantages of joining BRICS, to which the Foreign Minister explained that Pakistan’s membership would grant it a voice on a important international forum and facilitate trade and economic relations with member countries. Addressing a query regarding the recent TTP attack in Chitral and the resulting law and order situation, the Foreign Minister assured that the situation is under control. Pakistan is actively engaged with the Afghan interim government, with our ambassador meeting Afghan officials to address the matter.
He expressed Pakistan’s commitment to preventing such situations from recurring through continued dialogue with Afghan counterparts.
Shifting the focus to the appointment policy for non-career Ambassadors and High Commissioners, along with the criteria for postings in various countries, the Foreign Minister clarified that there is a 20% quota for non-career appointments, which is strictly adhered to.
About the selection of non-career diplomats, he stated that the government prioritizes suitability without specific criteria or rules. The Committee meeting was attended by Senators Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur, Palwasha Muhammadzai Khan, Molana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Walid Iqbal, and Muhammad Tahir Bizenjo, in addition to Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani and senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.