"The relationship with Pakistan is kind of like a critically ill patient. You know, you get up every day, you take the pulse, you deal with whatever fever has set in overnight and you just try to keep it alive for the next day," Dr Rice told MSNBC.
"That's how I thought about Pakistan when I was there. It's a relationship you've got to have but it is tough," said Dr Rice, who served as the National Security Advisor and the Secretary of State under the George W Bush administration.
Dr Rice, author of the new book 'Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom', made the remarks while responding to a question on Pakistan.
"There is no doubt that Pakistan has got internal issues. I still think that Pakistan is not the stalwart fighter against particularly the Taliban in that area between Afghanistan and Pakistan," she said.
"But Pakistan is a little bit more stable than it's been in a number of years. So maybe there's something," Dr Rice said.