While a hateful film has caused a  lot of bad blood for the US, especially at the public level, and concern at the official level both in Washington and Islamabad,  press reports also point to certain significant developments, having taken place during the past few days, which if seriously pursued, could make for improved Pak-US relations. They are intended to remove certain key irritants at present existing between the two countries. For example, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar appeared quite upbeat at the end of her four-day visit to the US, as she announced a roadmap of improved cooperation. The roadmap covers a range of issues: counter-terrorism, security, non-proliferation, energy, water, market access and defence consultations. How the intentions behind these issues work out in practice would determine the outcome. A continuing standoff in the Pak-US parleys was, however, the failure to have the drone strikes stopped. One had wished that the US gave specific assurance, rather than having a better understanding of their fall-out, about discontinuing the use of drones. Probably, it is because of such things that our Permanent Representative at the UN Hussain Haroon bemoans the unequal relations between the two countries.The American Senate’s overwhelming rejection of the amendment placed before the House by Republican Senator Rand Paul demanding that aid to Pakistan be made contingent on the release of Dr Shakil Afridi, the man involved in the cover-up anti-polio campaign for tracing Osama bin Laden, is also a welcome sign. That denotes the US lawmakers’ appreciation of Pakistan’s position on the issue that involves a serious lapse on the part of Dr Afridi in keeping the government in the dark about his activities and working for an outside agency. The Washington Post also contains a story that a joint approach towards talks with the Taliban has been agreed upon between the US and Pakistan, after President Zardari had a five-hour long meeting with three American officials during the last week. It is significant in the sense Islamabad is stipulated to have a key role in Afghanistan post-drawdown of US troops in 2014, as well as during the talks.