On January 11th 2016, the normally dormant, lifeless and visionless institution called the Senate did something unexpected and radical, even going against its core conservative characteristics. The Senate approved a resolution for lifting the ban on student unions, and a committee was formed to finalise recommendations on this matter.

Just days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan, there were two terrorist attacks: on the Pathankot air base in Indian Punjab and on the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan. The hardliners of the region had struck with a vengeance. As in most terrorist acts there are many accusations and suspected individuals and organisations. A Kashmiri separatists’ alliance based in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, the UJC (United Jihad Council), claimed responsibility for the Pathankot attack, although the Indian media insists the attackers were members of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group.

Pakistan and India announced on Wednesday in Islamabad that they were resuming the dialogue on outstanding issues, ending a two-year-long stalemate. The “Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue,” as it has been named, will include all elements covered under previous versions of the talks: peace and security, confidence-building measures, Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage, Tulbul Navigation Project, economic and commercial cooperation, counter-terrorism, narcotics control and humanitarian issues, people-to-people exchanges, and religious tourism.

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