The visiting FATF delegation still has more than a week in-country. Yet some key points have begun to emerge. Such as how the team held questions-and-answer sessions with three important agencies: the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA); the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU); and the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF). This is crucial to helping both sides pinpoint how and which terror financing risks have been identified and assessed. Not to mention the role of law enforcement agents (LEAs) on the investigation front. For a lot has changed since Pakistan was formally grey-listed back in June. Especially with regards to the militant-mainstreaming project. Meaning that certain outfits proscribed by the state merely underwent a name-change and participated in the summer’s elections. Naturally, this brings to the fore the question of fund-raising. Thus the pressure is on the Imran Khan government; despite it having only been in power for around 45 days. Be that as it may, the FATF delegation is interested in immediate measures for both the short- and longer-term. Towards this end, therefore, the visiting team has directed the country to track all financial transactions totalling $3,000 and above across the board.; from real estate agents to accountants to stockbrokers to lawyers. This makes sense. For providing a paper trail is paramount. As the Prime Minister will still recall from the afterglow of Panamagate. Yet the Centre must not overlook and therefore repeat the mistakes of the past. Namely, its own lackadaisical approach to settling its bills when it comes to media advertising. For, to be sure, the fourth estate — both electronic and print — remains one of Pakistan’s most undocumented industries as far financing goes. That is, when federal governments delay payments to ad agencies, it is media houses and employees who get burned. This results in the former operating in the red while staff receive intermittent cash payments. From whichever way this is looked at, the endgame is the same: an erasing of the money trail. It is hoped that both PM Khan and his team as well as the FATF representatives will urgently address this state of affairs. Not least because the country’s journalists are already working in a hostile environment. And that last thing we, the fourth estate, need is a loaded gun held to our heads; demanding to know how we (barely) make our money. * Published in Daily Times, October 11th 2018.