ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance has nominated a four-member delegation that includes the legal advisor of the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) to represent Pakistan in the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) next plenary and working group meeting, to be held in Paris from October 14-19.
Sources informed Pakistan Today that the ministry had nominated the names of joint secretary (internal finance), FMU director general, FMU legal advisor, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs director general for approval of the prime minister to represent Pakistan in FATF working group meeting next week.
The cabinet division had notified that the PM’s approval was mandatory in case the delegation exceeded the limit of three members. However, in FMU legal advisor Muneeb Zia’s case, experts and consultant were not eligible for foreign visits under para 23 of cabinet division instructions.
Sources revealed that FMU legal advisor Muneeb Zia was a contractual employee but as he had been dealing with the FATF matters for the last many years and was well-versed in the legal aspects of FATF issues, his name was recommended for the said meeting.
In addition to this, they informed that the federal cabinet had in the last week approved the appointment of the new FMU director general. However, a notification in this regard has not been issued so far.
Sources said that the FMU had suggested the names of additional finance secretary and joint secretary (internal finance), but the finance ministry recommended joint secretary instead of additional finance secretary, as the former he had attended the Asia Pacific Group’s (APG) meeting last month in Jakarta, Indonesia.
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan is not a member of the FATF, but it is important that Pakistan’s case is defended comprehensively in the sideline meetings with all members’ countries of International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) and FATF.
Presently, an APG working group of FATF is on a one week visit to Pakistan where officials are updating them on the initiatives taken by the government actions to curb money laundering and counter-terror financing.
FATF is holding its next plenary and working group meeting from October 14-19 in Paris, France. In the said meeting, the joint group would submit its analysis report to FATF/ICRG along with its recommendations on the basis of Pakistan’s action plan and discussion made with Pakistan delegation in a one-on-one meeting held on September 11-12 in Jakarta, Indonesia.