A top US official called for action against Pakistan on Friday all extremist groups ahead of a visit to Islamabad, which has sought reconciliation with militants at home and in Afghanistan.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will meet on October 7-8 with officials in Pakistan, which has long faced US charges of playing a double game in Afghanistan, where the Taliban returned to power in August.
“We are committed to a strong partnership with Pakistan on counter-terrorism and we expect continued action against all militant and terrorist groups indiscriminately,” Sherman told reporters.
“Both of our countries have suffered terribly from the scourge of terrorism and we look forward to joint efforts to eradicate all regional and global terrorist threats,” she said from Switzerland, her first stop on a journey that also took her to India and Uzbekistan. will bring. .
Pakistan points to its efforts against militants and the thousands killed in attacks at home, but it has also been criticized for failing to contain Islamist radicals attacking neighboring country and arch-rival India.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, a longtime critic of US military campaigns, said in an interview broadcast Friday that his government had opened talks with the Pakistani Taliban about laying down its arms.
“Some Pakistani Taliban groups want to talk to our government for some peace, for some reconciliation,” he told Turkey’s TRT World television.
He said talks took place in Afghanistan with parts of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which has carried out deadly attacks for years.
“I repeat, I do not believe in military solutions,” Khan said.
Khan has encouraged the world to engage the Afghan Taliban and provide economic support, though he has not backed recognition – a move opposed by the United States.
Sherman praised Pakistan’s calls for an inclusive government in Afghanistan.
“We look to Pakistan to play a crucial role in enabling that outcome,” she said.
Pakistan, a Cold War ally of the United States, was one of only three countries to recognize the hardline Taliban regime in 1996-2001, but quickly backed the US-led war to oust them after the attacks of Sept 11, 2001.
US officials say parts of Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency continued to support the Taliban, in part because of the former Western-backed Afghan government’s close ties to India.