US Secretary of State Hillary Clintons warning - which was denied by the US Embassy late last night - that Pakistan will suffer dire consequences if it failed to drive out the terrorists operating on its soil smacks of the conduct of an unreliable ally. Though she did not particularly elaborate what these consequences would be, the gist of her argument was focused on the Haqqani network supposedly enjoying sanctuary in Fata and becoming a Frankenstein for us in future. It is becoming increasingly apparent that as the end game in Afghanistan nears, US jitters are getting worse. With no viable plan as yet formulated for projecting itself as the winner of the decade long war, portraying Pakistan as the villain may be one way of getting attention away from the disastrous mess that US forces are leaving in Afghanistan. The Haqqani network and Islamabads neutral stand towards it, may figure as one of the excuses to account for Americas unsuccessful military adventure in Afghanistan. The reality however is that a decade after the war on terror, the Taliban are as strong than ever and perhaps more effective than before. The Karzai regime calls the tune but only within the four walls of the presidential palace, meanwhile ordinary Afghans ravaged by bloodshed and poverty trundle on in misery. On the US mainland with the economy on the edge of a double-dip recession, one cannot help but recall that enemies of the US have often vocalized that the purpose of engaging the Americans in Afghanistan was to make the US bleed financially. It appears this is clear for all to see except the Americans themselves - ending this war may be the only way to win it. Questions are also being raised by conscientious circles around the world about the exact purpose of going into Afghanistan. If ten years on, the US is desperately forging alliances with the enemy it had vowed to eliminate, under the circumstances, Islamabad also ought to remain resilient in its resolve to protect its national interests that are inextricably linked to perusing a dialogue with disgruntled tribesmen. While Secretary Clinton warns us of dire consequences, it may be wise for her to reflect for a moment on the fallout of our partnership with the Bush regime post 9/11? Practically, Pakistan is struggling to find an indication that the US wants to have a genuine, equal, strategic relationship with us. Strategic partners or allies do not hurl threats of dire consequences at each other. If Washington intends to forge a long-lasting relationship with Pakistan, it must not only give up its 'with us or against us' policy, which unnecessarily creates ill-will but put Islamabad at the forefront of the ongoing peace process. Our fears about a destabilised Afghanistan in the wake of US withdrawal are not imaginary, they are real, as made obvious by repeated insurgent attacks and increasing Indian involvement in Afghan affairs. Pakistans sincere help extended to the US in bringing the Haqqanis to the conference table is neither appreciated not touted as a success. The Obama Administration's delay in taking up this offer has resulted in the Haqqani network in turn pre-empting a possible US rejection of peace talks by replying that it has no desire to negotiate a peace settlement with the US. How many more opportunities to establish peace will the US reject as it continues to bleed in Afghanistan and back home?