US official calls for action against militants before Pakistan visit

Published October 2, 2021
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.—AFP
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.—AFP

WASHINGTON: A top US official called on Friday for 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 officials in Pakistan, which has long faced US accusations of “playing a double game in Afghanistan” where the Taliban swept back to power in August.

“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.

Praises Islamabad’s calls for an inclusive government in Afghanistan

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 radicals who target neighbour and arch-rival India.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, a longtime critic of US military campaigns, said in an interview aired on Friday that his government had opened talks with Pakistani Taliban about laying down their arms.

He said the discussions were taking place in Afghanistan with sections of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, which has waged years of deadly attacks.

“I repeat, I do not believe in military solutions,” Mr Khan said.

He has encouraged the world to engage Afghanistan’s Taliban and provide economic support, although he has stopped short of backing recognition — a step opposed by the United States.

Ms 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.

Pakistan, a Cold War ally of the United States, was one of only three nations to recognise the Taliban’s 1996-2001 regime but quickly backed the US-led war to oust them after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2021

Opinion

On writing

On writing

There is no ceremony or ritual that marks any person as a writer except the simple yet unimaginably significant act of starting to write.

Editorial

A way forward
Updated 17 Jul, 2024

A way forward

Before political leaders inflict more damage, they must give talks a chance.
Export delusions
Updated 18 Jul, 2024

Export delusions

Plummeting exports as a ratio of GDP is one of the major reasons driving the current economic slowdown and the balance-of-payments crisis.
Diversity in UK politics
17 Jul, 2024

Diversity in UK politics

THE recent UK elections have ushered in the most diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Under the leadership...
Banning PTI
Updated 16 Jul, 2024

Banning PTI

It appears that the govt and its backers within the establishment have still not realised that they are in uncharted territory.
Nato at 75
16 Jul, 2024

Nato at 75

EMERGING from the ashes of World War II, and locked in confrontation with the Soviet-led Communist bloc for over ...
Non-stop massacres
16 Jul, 2024

Non-stop massacres

Netanyahu is cunningly pretending to talk peace while mercilessly pounding Gaza. What is clear is that a return to pre-Oct 7 status quo is impossible.