MOSCOW: Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence, Senator Mushahid Hussain, has said Pakistan could join the intergovernmental geopolitical bloc, BRICS, with Russian cooperation as Russia is Chair of BRICS in 2024.

The senator welcomed growing relations between Pakistan and Russia especially in the field of energy, connectivity, education, regional security including Afghanistan and cooperation at multilateral fora including SCO and UN.

Talking about Pakistan joining BRICS, the chairman of the Senate committee on defence said in the future four Muslim states — Pakistan, Turkiye, Iran and Saudi Arabia — would have a decisive role in regional affairs. He also appreciated President Putin’s stance on Islamophobia and welcomed Russian goodwill for Pakistan.

Senator Hussain is visiting Russia on the invitation of the ruling United Russia party during which he met Russia’s Security council deputy chairman of and ex-president Dmitri Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, a news release received here stated.

At a plenary session of International Forum for Freedom of Nations, Senator Hussain and ex-president Medvedev discussed Pakistan-Russia relations, the situation in Afghanistan, the war in Gaza, and the Islamabad-Moscow collaboration in various sectors.

In a comment, Senator Hussain told Mr Medvedev that the probable election of Donald Trump in the US presidential elections in November 2024 would qualitatively change the region’s geopolitics.

He also delivered a lecture at the Russian Diplomatic Academy, highlighting the fact that there was no fundamental conflict of interest between Pakistan and Russia. He said Pakistan remained neutral on Ukraine, abstaining on voting in the United Nations on this issue.

Senator Hussain also met Senator Chizhov, President of the Russia-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group and leading members of the small Pakistani community in Moscow.

About his visit, the Senate committee chairman met three fundamental points: both countries have ‘strategic space’ after ending of foreign intervention in Afghanistan, to build relations anew in various fields; needs ‘regional reset’ in its foreign relations to take substantial initiatives for regional connectivity with Russia and other neighbouring countries; and China being a common factor of unity and cooperation, given both countries have close strategic ties with Beijing.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2024

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