WASHINGTON - Only a fraction of the US five-year, $7.5 billion aid package for Pakistan, approved in 2009, has so far been spent, a set back to Washingtons move to prove its long-term commitment to the countrys civilian government, The Washington Post reported on Friday. The newspaper said only $500 million has been spent in two years as the programme has run into bureaucratic delays, disagreements over priorities and fears about corruption. Now, it pointed out, the remainder of the funding is under scrutiny in the Republican-led House, where two panels have approved broad cuts in foreign aid and stringent conditions on assistance to a number of countries, including Pakistan. Although the Obama administration is fighting the cuts, US officials say they expect lawmakers to shrink the aid package while requiring greater evidence that Pakistan is fighting terrorism and that the funding is reaping benefits. 'The debate over civilian aid has transformed it from a potential tool for healing the deep rift between the US and Pakistan to yet another flash point in a relationship that has reached new lows in the three months since US Navy SEALs killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, the Post said. In Pakistan, the slow start for the aid programme and the likelihood that the total amount delivered will be less than originally pledged is reinforcing impressions of the US as an unreliable ally, the Post said, citing officials in Islamabad. 'Many Pakistanis still resent the US for cutting aid after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, and the Obama administrations recent decision to withhold $800 million in military aid and reimbursement is being cited as a new example of American fickleness, the dispatch said. 'Youre not going to get hearts and minds if aids given in dribs and drabs, Maleeha Lodhi, a former Pakistani Ambassador to the US was quoted as saying. Additional cuts, even those resulting from belt-tightening in Congress, she said, 'will be seen as punitive. US officials say that the aid programme also known as the Kerry-Lugar-Berman package for its three top Congressional backers has recently gained momentum and that their task is to increase the pace while tempering expectations. 'Its not about money, but weve made it about money. Instead, we should make it about things and people, so Pakistanis see clearly the impact of our aid,an unnamed US official was quoted as saying. But in Pakistan, the focus has been on the dollars spent, according to the dispatch. A senior Finance Ministry official told the newspaper that lower-than-expected disbursements had contributed to an increase in the Pakistani budget deficit. Officials with the US Agency for International Development say that they did not receive funding for the programme until September 2010 and that, including previously unused funds, the agency has spent more than $2 billion on civilian aid in Pakistan since late 2009. Moreover, US officials said, the slow pace is necessary to ensure funds do not get siphoned off because of fraud or waste. The Obama administration pledged to channel about half the new money through the Pakistani government and local organisations, rather than international contractors. But identifying Pakistani agencies that have clean records and are competent has required months of audits and reviews, US officials said. 'Theres a danger that if we spend too fast, were going to spend irresponsibly, Andrew B. Sisson, the USAID Mission Director in Pakistan, was quoted as saying. US officials stated the aid package was designed to stabilise Pakistan by improving its power supply, schools and economy not to win favour among the Pakistani public, which surveys show is strongly anti-American. But the plan has been subject to political pulls in both countries from the start, they added. After Congress passed the aid package in 2009, the powerful Pakistani military lashed out at some of the terms, including a requirement that the US Secretary of State certify that the civilian Pakistani government exercises control over the Armed Forces. American lawmakers are likely to impose more such conditions this year, US officials said. The US also pledged to fund 'signature projects, particularly in the energy sector, to serve as symbols of American friendship. The Pakistani finance official, however, said that Pakistan is seeking even more 'visible projects, including $500 million for a dam in the north. In Washington, lawmakers frequently complain that Pakistanis seem ungrateful for US assistance. 'Its time for us to take a look at the money were giving away to Pakistan, said Congressman Ted Poe, a Republican, during a House hearing last week. 'The billions of dollars that we give them, what do we have to show for it?. But efforts to win greater recognition for US-funded projects and with it, greater affection for the United States have frequently fallen flat. Security threats mean American officials often cannot visit project sites. Spending has been poorly explained to the public, according to a report by the DC-based Center for Global Development, which cited a 'mystifying lack of information on what has been done. And new requirements that aid recipients 'brand assistance with US logos have prompted some organisations to decline funding. 'We wouldnt want a grenade thrown into our office, said Samina Khan, the chairperson of a Pakistani humanitarian network, explaining why she considered it too risky for her own organisation, the Sungi Development Foundation, to seek US assistance. American officials say the programme has sped up since a strategy was formalised this spring. US-backed dam improvements will help add 500 megawatts of electricity to Pakistans failing grid, and education programmes are helping to bring schooling to 900,000 students, they said. 'Weve sharpened the focus, Sisson said. 'We acknowledge some delays, but were also very proud of our achievements, they added.