Fresh from his oathtaking as the Caretaker Prime Minister, Nisarul Mulk has been thrust into managing the thorny issue of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) review and an impending demotion of Pakistan to the so-called “grey list” maintained by the body; as he met with the National Security Committee (NSC) on Friday.

Despite the national importance of the issue as well as its challenging nature, the FATF review should be a rather straightforward task for the new PM – especially considering the rest of the decisions he will have to make. No questions of partial behavior toward political parties arise here nor does this directly affect the election process. The consensus is already present – Pakistan will comply with global financial regulations and it will work to close any loopholes that exist – the rest is a matter of oversight and executive diligence – something Nisarul Mulk should be quite comfortable with given his lengthy career as a senior judge.

The statements coming from the NSC appreciably attest to this fact. The Prime Minister’s office “reaffirmed the commitment of the country to work with FATF and other international organisations in achieving common goals and shared objectives” in a statement after the meeting, while the NSC – which is attended by the top military leadership as well – “expressed satisfaction” over the progress made so far.

While all of this bodes well for the more bureaucratic measures entailed in the revamp that Pakistan has to undertake, there is still no mention of a resolution on the more contentious issues. FATF – with the prompting of the United States – has included the “freedom with which Hafiz Saeed and his organisations were operating until a few months ago” as a key concern of the body. Pakistan’s dysfunctional conviction process against Hafiz Saeed and his associates and its often contradictory regulatory policies on the matter are an open secret. Furthermore, independent of the meeting, it is this demand that officials are most concerned about going so far as to term it “unfair’.

It is here that Nisarul Mulk has to exercise executive authority, instead of simply being a holdover for the next administration. What the government decides here, and by extension, how it regulates the Milli Muslim Leauge (MML) in the upcoming general elections will be crucial considerations come the review.

The NSC has said all the right things so far, but can it take the difficult decisions that need to be taken to back them up?