THE statement by European Union Ambassador Jan de Kok, that the possibility of a dialogue with Pakistan on a Free Trade Agreement does not exist, contrasts remarkably and unfavourably with that of Chinese businessmen in Lahore, who are ready to overcome all barriers in their eagerness to invest in Pakistan. Therefore, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was right to tell a meeting with the country heads of information technology firms that a Special Economic Zone had been set up for Chinese entrepreneurs. Mr de Kok made his statement to the Karachi Chamber of Trade and Industry, which he visited on Thursday. Mian Shahbaz also made another very important, and significant, point, that the information technology revolution in the province was being carried out with the help of Turkey. It is worth noting that, despite our ruling elites fascination with the West, in which it has conceded even the countrys sovereignty to it, it still will not touch Pakistan, and the USA as well as the European Union have refused to enter into Free Trade Agreements with Pakistan, despite its anxious pleas that this was part of the price for joining the USAs War on Terror. However, while this has been going on loudly, the Turks and the Chinese have been quietly making investments in Pakistan. The friendliness of the two countries is historical, and not constrained by the actions of governments. If indeed we need trade, not aid, we should look to traditional friends, not countries that view us with unfounded suspicions, and which drag us into Wars of their own choosing, without a thought for the consequences, both human and economic, that we incur. The present government should follow the natural demands of both politics and economics, make a break with those countries which demand our help without paying any attention to our economic needs, and strongly pursue our traditional friends, who are already prepared to invest here. There must be a change of policy to take account of economic realities and national interests.