Admittedly at a “turning point” of a difficult relationship, the U.S. and Pakistan on Friday decided to stay the course in their war on terror after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's fleeting visit to Islamabad where she reiterated Pakistan's “legitimate interests” in the outcome of the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

“For reconciliation to succeed, Pakistan must be part of that process,” she said, underlining Islamabad's responsibility in facilitating the process by preventing insurgents from waging a war in Afghanistan from this side of the Durand Line.

Though Ms. Clinton did not divulge details of future cooperation against terrorism — particularly if Pakistan had given any commitment on taking on the Haqqani network — she said there was a realisation that no quarter could be given to terrorists. Terrorists, she said, could either become part of the political process or would have to be killed or captured.

About the Abbottabad operation to get al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, she clarified that there was no evidence to suggest anyone at the highest level of the Pakistan government knew he was living just miles away from Islamabad.

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