NEW YORK-A leading US newspaper on Tuesday criticised Congress for the delay in passing a long-promised bill tripling economic and development assistance to Pakistan, while calling the reported killing of Baitullah Mehsud by an American drone a success of President Barack Obama. In an editorial, The New York Times said President Obama seems to be having some success with his military for Pakist The editorial regretted that Congress left for its summer recess without passing the bill, which it called the centerpiece of Obamas plan to win the hearts and minds of the Pakistani people. The US drone strike came after months of improved cooperation between American and Pakistani intelligence officials, said the editorial, which cited Mehsuds and his associates bloody reign of terror across Pakistan. 'Permanently removing him from the picture would be an obvious victory, it added. However, the Times said force alone will not be enough to defeat the extremists. The editorial said, 'During the 2008 campaign, Obama rightly criticised the Bush administration for overinvesting in Pakistans army while doing far too little to help build up its civil society - the schools, courts, hospitals and roads that are essential to stability. Obama pledged to support legislation - which was initially sponsored by then-Senator Joseph Biden and Senator Richard Lugar - that would provide Pakistan with $7.5 billion in development assistance over five years. 'The aid - and particularly its pledge of five years of uninterrupted help - is intended to demonstrate that this time Washington is in for the long haul. Many Pakistanis still accuse the Americans of using and then abandoning them after the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan. We fear that any more delay on the promised assistance would only reinforce that suspicion and bitterness, the paper added. 'The House and Senate did manage to pass bills authorising the aid, but with significant differences, it said. 'Both versions contained sound conditions and benchmarks to try to measure the effectiveness of the help. But the House added a variety of other provisions, including earmarks for military projects that favored American contractors and bullying language on Pakistans nuclear programme that would inevitably increase tensions with Islamabad and alienate the Pakistani public. We, too, are very concerned about Pakistans history of nuclear proliferation. But this aid bill is clearly not the vehicle. 'Inexplicably, the White House, which insists that bringing stability to Afghanistan and Pakistan is a top national security priority, did not press the leadership to finish the legislation. By the time negotiators managed to find a compromise, it was too late for a vote, it added. When Congress returns in September, lawmakers and the White House must make passing the aid bill a top priority. Congress must also pass long-stalled legislation to establish special trade preference zones in parts of Pakistan to help create jobs.