Washington: US President Barack Obama's planned visit to Pakistan later this year appears to have entered the phase of uncertainty after the killing of Osama bin Laden at his hideout in Abbottabad near Islamabad. (Agencies)
Just before his maiden trip to India in November last year, Obama, in a meeting with a visiting delegation of Pakistani officials at the White House, had announced that he would be travelling to Pakistan later this year. And before his planned visit, his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, too would be visiting him at the White House.
But, with less than eight months left for this year to end, before which the two countries are also scheduled to hold their strategic dialogue, officials here at both the State Department and the White House are maintaining a silence on the two presidential visits.
"I'm not going to address the President's schedule. I think there's a commitment that the President has made, that he is intending to visit Pakistan. A lot depends on availability, scheduling, whatever," said John Brennan, the Deputy National Security Adviser for Counter-terrorism and Homeland Security.
"But the President feels very strongly that the people of Pakistan need to realise their potential to have a life that is full of security as well as prosperity. And because of the al-Qaeda menace, as well as other militant organisations in that country, too many Pakistanis have suffered and have died because of that," he noted.
"What the President's wanting to do, and what we're doing with the Pakistani government, is to see what we can do to help the Pakistani government provide that type of lifestyle for their populace in the future," Brennan said.
The US-Pakistani relationship, he said, is a strategic relationship, which goes on a number of different areas and levels.
The State Department too has not announced the dates of the Strategic Dialogue, which was held three times last year.
Initially scheduled to be held in March, it was postponed amidst the controversy over the arrest of suspected CIA contractor Raymond Davis in Lahore for double murder. He was later released after blood money was paid to the victims' kin.
Unofficially, it was being stated that the Strategic Dialogue would be held in the last half of May.
State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, told reporters this week that no dates have been determined yet.
Washington: US President Barack Obama's planned visit to Pakistan later this year appears to have entered the phase of uncertainty after the killing of Osama bin Laden at his hideout in Abbottabad near Islamabad.