WASHINGTON (Agencies) President Barack Obamas promised trip to Pakistan this year, once seen as a reward for a key ally in the fight against terrorism, is now a looming headache for the White House as it tries to determine whether the government in Islamabad was complicit in allowing Osama bin Laden to live for years within the countrys borders. Obama told Pakistani officials in the fall that he planned to travel there in 2011, in part to soothe concerns that the president was favouring Pakistans neighbour and arch-rival, India, by visiting there first. White House spokesmen questioned by an American news agency refused to say whether Obama still planned to go. In the hours after bin Ladens killing by a U.S. special forces team in Pakistan, John Brennan, Obamas top counterterrorism adviser, left the topic open. Im not going to address the presidents schedule, he said. I think theres a commitment that the president has made that he is intending to visit Pakistan. A lot depends on availability, scheduling. The decision is of enormous strategic and symbolic importance to both countries. A presidential trip would signal a continued US commitment to its complicated, yet necessary, relationship with Pakistan, a country that is not only integral in dealing with terrorism, but will also play a key role in the US troop drawdown in neighbouring Afghanistan. Cancelling the visit could be seen as a sign of US mistrust of Pakistans handling of extremists within its borders as underscored by the news that bin Laden lived in what Brennan himself called within 'plain sight in a neighbourhood home to many in the Pakistani military. Karl Inderfurth, a former assistant secretary of state who travelled to Pakistan with then President Bill Clinton, said the White House should hold off making any decisions about Obamas travel until the tensions that have heightened since bin Ladens death have eased. I dont think that responsible officials on either side want to inject into that situation all that is required for a presidential visit, including safety and security, said Inderfurth, now a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The Pakistanis know they are sitting atop a very volatile situation. Obama aides had never publicly set a date for the presidents visit to Pakistan, and its unlikely they will even if he does go there. Because of security concerns, Obama would probably travel unannounced and under heavy security, as Vice President Joe Biden did earlier this year. Obama has travelled to Iraq and Afghanistan under similar circumstances.