The Prime Ministers trip to the EU has apparently resulted in EU support for Pakistans social development strategy with an announcement of 525 million Euros for the next five years. This is certainly a welcome development but it falls far short of what Pakistan was seeking. This was trade access to the EU, especially for textiles. This the EU has not agreed to and this is a clear rebuff for Pakistan and its sacrifices in the US-led war on terror. After all, Pakistans exports have suffered tremendously as a direct result of the country becoming effectively a war zone - with higher insurance costs and less foreign direct investment flows. In addition, to send another message to Pakistan on the eve of the Prime Ministers visit to Brussels, the EU and US evolved a joint terrorism strategy which sough to push more pressure on Pakistan to do more against militant groups. Given how the US has been unable to evolve a viable strategy against these groups in Afghanistan, it hardly seems fair to put the entire burden on Pakistan which is already reeling under the post-9/11 scenario. It is unfortunate that the EU continues to deprive Pakistan of trade access to its lucrative markets just like the US, although this was the one demand Pakistan made when it became a frontline state in the US-led war on terror. At the time, both the US and the EU had given out that they would provide this market access, but so far nothing has happened on that count. Meanwhile, Pakistans exports are suffering because by effectively becoming a war zone, Pakistans has seen its exports suffer with rising insurance costs and reduced foreign direct investment flows. Worse still, the EU is giving special access to India and Bangladesh, both of whom are competitors of Pakistani textiles. By choosing to give aid instead of trade facilitation, the EU continues to dangle the carrot of assistance which will be contingent upon Pakistans good behaviour Although the EU aid promise is not a trifling amount and also includes development of FATA, yet so far it remains just that - a promise, similar to the US commitment to establish ROZs in FATA. In any case, the aid seeking disease means Pakistan will continue to go around carrying a begging bowl. It is unfortunate the PM was unable to stand his ground and demand trade access instead of yet more promises of aid which comes with its won conditionalities. At this rate, our rulers will continue to cling to their begging bowls, dragging the nation down with them.