"Perhaps the raw reality of the Pakistan-US relationship is that while the two countries continue to cooperate because they need each other, neither has any illusions anymore that the two sides can be close friends," the Dawn newspaper said.
It said US President Barack Obama is "willing to engage Pakistan on the economic and aid fronts, but the terrorism and militancy issues are as urgent and real as they have ever been".
Sharif needs to grip the internal security challenges
"Even so, Obama himself did not exactly shirk from giving a matter-of-fact assessment of the difficulties in going from the mutually expressed desire to build more sustainable ties to actually achieving that kind of relationship between the US and Pakistan.
"But then, neither did Sharif really try to downplay the terrorism threat inside Pakistan nor did he look to overly blame the outside world for Pakistan's internal troubles," the editorial noted.
The daily said the main job that awaits Sharif on his return to Pakistan from the US is "getting to grips with the internal security challenges".