Govt set to include top army officers in FATF committees

ISLAMABAD: The government, in an apparent bid to get the country out of the Financial Action Task Force’s grey list till February 2020, is all set to extend the membership of two committees associated with FATF targets, Pakistan Today has learnt.

According to documents, the Finance Division has sought expansion in the National Executive Committee and the General Committee to comply with the FATF targets.

In a summary to be tabled before the federal cabinet, the Finance Division has asked the government to make Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Aznhar as member of the National Executive Committee (NEC). Similarly, the division has requested the government to appoint Director General Military Operation (DGMO) and the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) director general as members of the General Committee under Section 5 & 5 (4) of AML Act, 2010.

“Greater participation of all stakeholders is required to ensure that commitment made through the [FATF] action plan is fulfilled,” documents available with this scribe read. “Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has seen and authorised the submission of this summary.”

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It is pertinent to mention that a meeting to review the proposals for the establishment of FATF Secretariat was held on October 3 under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan. During the meeting, it was decided that the economic affairs minister would be notified as member of NEC while DGMO and ISI DG would be notified as members of GC under section 5 & 5 (4) of AML Act, 2010, respectively.

The said section provides that the federal government may nominate any other member in these committees.

As per the documents, the primary law which governs the AML/CFT regime in Pakistan is the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010. The Act provides for the constitution of NEC and GC to take policy and operational decision with respect to AML/CFT.

At present, the NEC is chaired by the finance advisor. Other members include ministers of law & justice, foreign affairs, interior, Financial Monitoring Unit DG (secretary), State Bank of Pakistan governor and Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan chairman.

Similarly, the GC is chaired by the finance secretary, while other members include foreign affairs secretary, National Accountability Bureau chairman, Federal Investigation Authority DG, Anti-Narcotics Force DG, SBP deputy governor and SECP commissioner. The FMU DG is the secretary of this committee as well, in accordance with the provision of Section 5 and 5(4) of AML Act, 2010.

The FATF had earlier this month placed Pakistan on its grey list till February next year, directing Islamabad to take ‘extra measures’ for ‘complete’ elimination of terror financing and money laundering.

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Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is a an investigative journalist at Profit. He can be reached at [email protected]

2 COMMENTS

  1. It’s good that the terrorists’ masters are being inducted into the comittee that will oversee the end of the terrorist financing. They will learn all the tricks of the trade and will ensure that the terrorists can work around whatever restrictions FATF forces on us.

  2. It seems that Army is only being dragged into the FATF mess as the govt is “confident” that it will not be able to meet the targets. Hence it wants to make sure that the blame is spread across the board.

    The main purpose of the army is to protect the borders and, if need be, facilitate the local law enforcement agencies. If implementation of FATF cannot be done by the civilian government than they may as well resign and give the govt to the army and go home.

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