India-Pakistan row over South Asian Varsity about to end?

While tension is heavy between India and Pakistan, the recent resumption of Track II discussions has opened up the possibility of easing strains at least on one front – the South Asian University.

While there was not much change in the stand taken by both countries on key concerns around topics such as terrorism and Kashmir, there were some nods on the fact that greater cultural and academic collaboration between the two nations would be desirable.

Pakistani candidates are said to have raised distress over India denying visas to Pakistani students who had applied to the university located in New Delhi. While 58 Pakistanis appeared for SAU entrance exam last year, 50 applicants took the test in Karachi and Lahore this year.

The SAU was established by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in 2010 to provide academic opportunities in the subcontinent and promote a sense of the South Asian community. SAU was conceived as an institution with world-class facilities that would enable the best and brightest of students from the SAARC members to appreciate each others’ national perspectives and, at the same time promote regional consciousness.

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