LAHORE Hillary Clinton did well in combining diplomacy with some hard talk on the need to squeeze down the Haqqani Network during her fence-mending visit to Pakistan. Her terse warnings to Pakistan in Kabul before she landed in Islamabad had made the Pakistani analysts wonder whether her visit to Pakistan would be a conciliatory one or a coercive one. Leading a powerful military delegation that primarily comprised the new US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey and CIA Chief David Petraeus, she had exhaustive interactions with Pakistans civilian and military leadership. Observers who monitored the bilateral talks say that there was tough interaction between the two sides wherein Clinton conveyed US administrations frustration over failure of its peace efforts in Afghanistan and that it had reached a 'saturation point. Pakistan renewed its sincere offer to help US engage with the Taliban. However, Americans were told that Islamabad would not be able to guarantee the success or otherwise of such talks. It can only try to talk to Taliban on the necessity of their talks with the US but cannot force them on any US desired outcome. Both the sides agreed that reconciliation in Afghanistan is the only way to move forward for Afghan stability. Besides reservations on North Waziristans issue, the US was also told about Pakistans other core concerns. The core concerns that formed part of a 13-page document on Afghanistan were the same as already handed over to US President Barack Obama by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani during latters visit to Washington in December 2010. One of the most important of those concerns was the sustainability of the US funding of $ 6-8 billion per annum for Afghan National Army. If US fails at any time in sustaining that kind of funding it would mean chaos and disintegration of Afghanistan, which would have very serious consequences for Pakistans security. The other immediate concern conveyed was US/ISAF and NATO forces inability to check Mullah Fazlullah and his militants crossing over into Pakistan and carrying out attacks on Pakistani security forces with impunity. There has been a growing resentment in the security establishment of Pakistan over the failure of coalition forces in stopping these attacks. These militants after attacking Pakistan militarys check posts on the Pakistan border escape to safe havens located on the other side of the border in Afghanistan. Pakistani Taliban fighters who were earlier flushed out by Pakistani military offensives have now settled down in Afghan sanctuaries and act under the patronage of Mullah Fazlullah. That territory has now virtually become the new regional hub for militants, both local and foreign. There is an urgent need that the US-led coalition must take action to prevent attacks on American forces as well as strikes inside Pakistan emanating from these terror hubs. While talking to the Fox News, after the visit, Hillary Clinton agreed with Pakistans Chief of Army Staffs assertion that Afghanistan has to deal with its own problems and instead of blaming Pakistan for all Afghan ills it better start looking internally rather than externally. She also agreed with General Kayanis assertion that Pakistan was not Iraq or Afghanistan. She tended to agree with Pakistans proposal that US hold direct talks with FATA based Afghan militants and seemed to acknowledge that 'help for a negotiated settlement is perhaps the best the US can hope from Pakistan. While being in Islamabad, she publicly acknowledged that US had met Haqqani representatives earlier with help from Pakistani officials for gauging the prospects of talks. The US-Pak relationship that went into a deep turmoil after Mike Mullens irresponsible comments on Haqqanis being a veritable arm of ISI, the visit of Secretary Clinton has to some extent put the relationship on tracks. Post Mullens remarks various US departments had reacted differently. Some in the administration called those remarks as devoid of US administrations support. Even the US President is on record to have told Press reporters that intelligence linking Pakistan with attack on US Embassy in Kabul was not 'as clear as we would like in terms of what exactly that relationship is. Clinton too has also acknowledged that there was no evidence of ISls involvement in attacks on Kabul. Resurrection of Pak-US relations require a mutual effort to refrain from the rhetoric and recriminations of last few months that had brought the relationship to new lows. In order to ensure this US administration has to wriggle itself out of military domination that is fast taking over the reins of US foreign policy. She is due for a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan on 27th of this month wherein her deliberations would reflect whether her Pakistan visit was a success or not. Her deliberations then will also chart the future directions of US-Pakistan relationship.