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 with Pakistani officials during her October 7-8 visit. “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. Prime Minister Imran Khan, a longtime critic of US military campaigns, said in an interview aired on Friday that the government had opened talks with some groups of the banned Tehreek-i-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,” the premier said. Prime Minister Imran 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. 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 was one of only three nations to recognise the Taliban’s hardline 1996-2001 regime but quickly backed the US-led war to oust them after the September 11, 2001, attacks. Secretary Sherman is the highest-ranking career diplomat in the State Department as the Secretary of State, who is equivalent to a foreign minister in other countries, is always a political appointee. She is the highest-ranking US visitor to Pakistan under President Joe Biden and since Taliban’s victory in Kabul.