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The lowering of the flags ceremony at the Wagah
Wagah
border is a daily military practice that the security forces of India
India
(Border Security Force, BSF) and Pakistan
Pakistan
( Pakistan
Pakistan
Rangers) have jointly followed since 1959.[1] The drill is characterized by elaborate and rapid dancelike manoeuvres, which have been described as "colourful".[1] It is alternatively a symbol of the two countries’ rivalry, as well as brotherhood and cooperation between the two nations. Similar parades are being organised at Mahavir/Sadqi border near Fazilka
Fazilka
and Hussainiwala/ Ganda Singh Wala
Ganda Singh Wala
border near Firozpur.

Wagah
Wagah
Attari
Attari
Border Ceremony ਵਾਗਾਹ ਅਟਾਰੀ ਸਰਹੱਦ ਸਮਾਰੋਹ वागह अटारी सीमा समारोह واہگہ سرحد تقریب‬

Wagah
Wagah
is a village situated in Lahore
Lahore
District[2] and lies on the old Grand Trunk Road
Grand Trunk Road
between Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Pakistan
and Amritsar, India. It serves as a goods transit terminal and a railway station between Pakistan
Pakistan
and India.

Genre Military display

Dates Every day

Years active Since 1959 (59 years ago) (1959)

Founded Border Security Force
Border Security Force
and Pakistan
Pakistan
Rangers

Contents

1 Overview 2 2014 suicide attack 3 2016 Indo-Pakistani tensions 4 Other places 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Overview[edit] Coordinates: 31°36′17″N 74°34′23″E / 31.604644°N 74.573080°E / 31.604644; 74.573080

The Wagah
Wagah
Border ceremony.

Marching By Indian Soldiers

Indian Crowd Watching the Ceremony

This ceremony takes place every evening before sunset at the Wagah border, which as part of the Grand Trunk Road
Grand Trunk Road
was the only road link between these two countries before the opening of the Aman Setu in Kashmir
Kashmir
in 1999. The ceremony starts with a blustering parade by the soldiers from both sides, and ends up in the perfectly coordinated lowering of the two nations' flags.[3] It is called the Beating Retreat border ceremony on the international level. One infantryman stands at attention on each side of the gate. As the sun sets, the iron gates at the border are opened and the two flags are lowered simultaneously. The flags are folded and the ceremony ends with a retreat that involves a brusque handshake between soldiers from either side, followed by the closing of the gates again. The spectacle of the ceremony attracts many visitors from both sides of the border, as well as international tourists.[3] In October 2010, Major General Yaqub Ali Khan of the Pakistan
Pakistan
Rangers decided that the aggressive aspect of the ceremonial theatrics should be toned down. The soldiers of this ceremony are specially appointed and trained for this auspicious ceremony. They also have a beard and moustache policy for which they are paid additionally. 2014 suicide attack[edit] Main article: 2014 Wagah
Wagah
border suicide attack On 2 November 2014, approximately 60 people were killed and at least 110 people were injured in a suicide attack on the Pakistan
Pakistan
side of the Wagah
Wagah
border. An 18- to 20-year-old attacker detonated a 5 kg (11 lb) explosive in his vest 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the crossing point in the evening right after the Wagah
Wagah
border ceremony ended.[4][5] 2016 Indo-Pakistani tensions[edit] After the India– Pakistan
Pakistan
military confrontation on 29 September 2016 the border closing ceremony continued, but on the Indian side public attendance was denied on the evenings between 29 September and 8 October 2016.[6] As a sign of the increased tensions, the BSF did not exchange sweets and greetings with Pakistani Rangers on Diwali
Diwali
2016, despite a long tradition of doing so on major religious festivals like Bakr-Eid and Diwali, and also during Independence Days of both countries.[7] Other places[edit]

Border ceremony at Ganda Singh Wala/ Hussainiwala
Hussainiwala
border

These border ceremonies done by the Pakistan
Pakistan
Rangers and BSF just before sunset are not only carried out at Wagah, but it is also done at other India- Pakistan
Pakistan
border posts, such as at the:

Ganda Singh Wala
Ganda Singh Wala
border, Kasur District
Kasur District
( Pakistan
Pakistan
side) / Hussainiwala border, Punjab
Punjab
( India
India
side) Sulaimanki, Punjab
Punjab
( Pakistan
Pakistan
side) / Fazilka
Fazilka
border, Okara District ( India
India
side)

These ceremony which is other than Wagah
Wagah
are carried out in a smaller setting, and spectators tend to originate from local Punjabis
Punjabis
rather than at the Wagah
Wagah
where Indians/Pakistanis from different states come to gather with some foreign tourists. The method of drill and parade is also quite different compared to the one in Wagah. Border soldiers from both sides also intimidate each other by throwing high-kicks and by staring, and is concluded by a flag retreat done from the both sides together. See also[edit]

Indo-Pakistani border Attari, the Indian village bordering with Wagah Ganda Singh Wala, Pakistan
Pakistan
and Hussainiwala, India
India
- site of other flag retreat ceremony on the India- Pakistan
Pakistan
border Sulaimanki, Pakistan
Pakistan
and Fazilka, India
India
- site of other flag retreat ceremony on the India- Pakistan
Pakistan
border

Play media

Wagah
Wagah
Border Ceremony from Pakistani Side, 2013

References[edit]

^ a b Khaleeli, Homa (1 November 2010). "Goodbye to the ceremony of silly walks between India
India
and Pakistan". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 November 2011.  ^ "Mixed feelings on India- Pakistan
Pakistan
border". BBC News. 14 August 2007.  ^ a b Frank Jacobs (3 July 2012). "Peacocks at Sunset". Opinionator: Borderlines. The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July 2012.  ^ " Pakistan
Pakistan
blast 'kills 45' at Wagah
Wagah
border with India". BBC News. 2 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.  ^ "Police: Suicide bomber kills dozens at Pakistan
Pakistan
border parade". CNN. 2 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.  ^ "Attari- Wagah
Wagah
post echoes with patriotic chants again". hindustantimes. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2016.  ^ "BSF refuses to exchange Diwali
Diwali
sweets at Wagah
Wagah
as Indo-Pak tension increases". The Economic Times. 30 October 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wagah
Wagah
Border.

Michael Palin
Michael Palin
at the India- Pakistan
Pakistan
border ceremony on the Pakistani side (from Himalaya with Michael Palin). BBCWorldwide video on YouTube. Sanjeev Bhaskar
Sanjeev Bhaskar
at the India- Pakistan
Pakistan
border ceremony on the Indian side. BBCWorldwide video

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