WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked Pakistan to be a part of solution in Afghanistan, saying the United States is pushing Islamabad on a 'range of issues on which it will be held accountable. Pakistan has to be part of the solution or they will continue to be part of the problem, she said in response to a question after a lecture on American Global Leadership at the Centre for American Progress Wednesday. And, therefore, as frustrating as it is, we just keep everyday going at it and I think we make very slow, sometimes barely discernible progress, but were moving in the right direction, Clinton added. At the same time, the secretary of state said the United States cannot abandon Pakistan. This is a very difficult relationship but I believe strongly it is not one we can walk away from and expect that anything will turn out better, she said. Her comments came amid continuing tensions between US and Pakistan, exacerbated by Washington publicly accusing ISI of supporting a militant attack on the US embassy in Kabul on September 13, an allegation that Islamabad has vigorously denied. The United States and Pakistan have bickered publicly since the former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen told Congress last month that he regarded the militant Haqqani network as a 'veritable arm of the ISI. In her remarks, Hillary said the United States had no choice but to work with Pakistan in trying to stabilise neighbouring Afghanistan. Everybody knows Pakistan has a big stake in the outcome of what goes on across their border, and they are going to be involved one way or the other, she said. Part of what weve done is to continue to push forward on what our expectations are from Pakistan and hold them accountable on a range of issues that we have laid out for them Therefore, we are deeply engaged in finding ways to enhance cooperation with Pakistan and to further the Afghan desire for a legitimate peace and reconciliation process. Hillary Clinton also acknowledged difficulties Afghanistan faces as international forces move towards drawdown in Nato-set date of 2014 while Afghans seek reconciliation and semblance of normalcy return to their country, after three decades of internal strife and wars. We have always said that we wanted to support an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned reconciliation process. And I think after a lot of very deep thought and consideration, President Karzai believes we have to follow through on that, and that it is essential to see whether there is an opportunity within the red lines that we agree upon to bring at least some of the Taliban and related insurgents to the peace table. She also referred to the Obama Administrations plan that it set to contain the Taliban momentum in Afghanistan and claimed it has succeeded. Now, its always difficult in the midst of conflict because we are continuing to kill them, as many as we can, to take them off the battlefield, to try to neutralize them and the role they play in killing Afghans, Americans, and other members of the coalition, and they are continuing to fight us. So there is no agreed upon end point here. Were not saying okay, lets stop everything and talk, because we believe and I think the evidence is clear on this that the decision President Obama made on taking office and then the second decision he made to first stop, and then reverse, the momentum of the Taliban, has actually succeeded, she said. Continuing her reply to the question of reconciliation, she said What we are trying to do is, with the Afghans, explore every possible route for any legitimate negotiations. But as we are reminded with the (Burhanuddin) Rabbani assassination, he was meeting with somebody who had convinced everyone all the way to President Karzai that he was there as a legitimate representative of the Taliban to pursue reconciliation, and he was there as an assassin. So there is nothing easy about this for even the Afghans. And it is, after all, their culture, so it is also very difficult to us to try to be supportive of them. Looking ahead in the larger regional perspective, the US diplomat particularly talked about an upcoming conference (November 2 ) in Istanbul and progress toward New Silk Road initiative. The United States put on the table a positive vision for the region because I believe strongly its not just enough to tell people what were against guess what - were against terrorism but to tell people were for regional economic integration, were for opening up borders so that Afghans, Pakistanis, Uzbeks, and others can trade and make money and get into the Indian market as well. So we put forward this vision of the New Silk Road, which we are working very hard on and which there has been a great positive response to in the region. So theres a lot that were moving simultaneously, as we obviously begin to draw down our troops, as we abide by the schedule set out at the NATO summit at Lisbon, and as we explore with the Afghans what our strategic partnership will be after 2014. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland later told reporters that Hillarys remarks that reconciliation talks with Haqqani Network cannot be ruled out did not represent any change in policy. I think weve been quite consistent. We need and we are continuing the conversation with Pakistan to work together intensively to fight terror and beat back the Haqqani network in its efforts to propagate terror, whether its in Pakistan, Afghanistan, or anywhere else in the region.