A member of Brics (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) blocked Pakistan’s participation in a meeting hosted by Beijing on the margins of the bloc’s summit last week, Islamabad said on Monday without naming the country.

Though Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar did not name the Brics member which blocked Pakistan’s participation in the high-level dialogue on global development on June 24, media reports in Pakistan cited sources as saying the country was India.

“China being the host country engaged with Pakistan prior to the Brics meetings, where decisions are taken after consultations with all Brics members, including extending an invitation to non-members,” Iftikhar said in a statement. “Regrettably, one member blocked Pakistan’s participation.”

Besides the leaders of Brics states, China had invited leaders of 13 countries to the event, which was widely seen as part of a push by Beijing to expand the five-member grouping. The countries invited to what is being described as “Brics-plus” meeting were Algeria, Argentina, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Senegal, Thailand and Uzbekistan.

There was no immediate reaction to the development from Indian officials.

When Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian was asked about the issue by the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan at a regular news briefing on Monday, he replied the decision to hold the high-level dialogue was “based on consultation among Brics countries,” but did not elaborate.

“China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. Pakistan is an important member of the group of friends of the Global Development Initiative,” he said.

China values Pakistan’s role in promoting global development and advancing the implementation of the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development and boosting regional cooperation, Zhao said.

Pakistan and China maintain close communication and coordination, and Beijing will continue to make Islamabad a “priority partner in implementing the Global Development Initiative and we will continue to work with the country to advance the global development agenda”, he added.

Pakistan hopes future engagements of Brics will 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 geopolitical considerations”, Iftikhar said.