Top US official calls for Pakistan action on militants before visit
WASHINGTON: A top US official on Friday asked Pakistan to take action against all extremist groups ahead of a visit to Islamabad, which has sought reconciliation with militants both at home and in Afghanistan.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will meet on October 7-8 with officials in Pakistan.
“We seek a strong partnership with Pakistan on counterterrorism, and we expect sustained action against all militant and terrorist groups without distinction,” Sherman told reporters.
“Both of our countries have suffered terribly from the scourge of terrorism and we look forward to cooperative efforts to eliminate all regional and global terrorist threats,” she said from Switzerland, her first stop on a trip that will also take her to India and Uzbekistan.
Pakistan points to its efforts against militants and the thousands who have died in attacks at home, but it has also faced criticism for not doing more to curb them.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, a critic of US military campaigns, said in an interview aired on Friday that his government had opened talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) about laying down their arms.
“Some of the Pakistani Taliban groups actually want to talk to our government for some peace, for some reconciliation,” he told Turkey’s TRT World television.
He said the discussions were taking place in Afghanistan with sections of the TTP, which has waged years of deadly attacks.
“I repeat, I do not believe in military solutions,” PM said.
The premier has encouraged the world to engage Afghanistan’s Taliban and provide economic support.
Sherman praised Pakistan’s calls for an inclusive government in Afghanistan.
“We look to Pakistan to play a critical role in enabling that outcome,” she said.
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