Sherman will meet on October 7-8 with 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.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, a longtime critic of US military campaigns, said in an interview aired Friday that his government had opened talks with the Pakistani Taliban about laying down their arms.
“Some of the Pakistani Taliban groups 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 Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which has waged years of deadly attacks.
“We look to Pakistan to play a critical role in enabling that outcome,” Sherman said.
Pakistan, a Cold War ally of the United States, was one of only three nations to recognize the Taliban’s hardline 1996-2001 regime but quickly backed the US-led war to oust them after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
US officials say segments of Pakistan’s powerful intelligence service maintained backing for the Taliban, in part due to the former Western-backed Afghan government’s close ties with India.