Washington: In order to check official inaction and public resentment, the United States should delay much of its multibillion-dollar package to Pakistan pending economic reforms, a study said on Thursday.

A task force of the Center for Global Development, a private Washington think-tank, said that US assistance to Pakistan has become “muddled” with lack of clear cut ideas and leadership including  pressure “to do too much, too quickly.”

The study comes as more US lawmakers question aid to Pakistan -- which has totalled some US 18 billion since the September 11, 2001 attacks -- after US forces killed Osama bin Laden near the country’s top military academy.

The United States in 2009 authorized a USD 7.5 billion, five-year package named after Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar and Representative Howard Berman, who hoped to fight anti-Americanism in Pakistan by switching the US focus from backing the military to building the economy and civilian institutions.

But the study, the result of research that began well before the bin Laden raid, said the aid drive had paradoxically soured Pakistani public perceptions of the United States as it raised false hopes for the future.

And with Pakistani leaders now assuming that threre is a steady flow of cash from Washington, “it makes sense for them to push for that money rather than to work with their political rivals to move on key reforms,” it said.

“For these reasons, we recommend that much of the USD 7.5 billion Kerry-Lugar- Berman aid package not be disbursed immediately,” it said.

(Agencies)