India and Pakistan a Closing Ceremony


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India and Pakistan have been together since the beginning.  From the earliest civilizations of the Indus Valley over five thousand years ago until independence from Britain in 1947.   In the mainstream,  the 150 million Muslims of secular India subordinate their faith to their identity as Indians.  This is not exactly the case in Pakistan, which became known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1956.  The memories of civil war and the trauma of partition lingered for decades. But the generation most affected is now passing — the next ones are more interested in commercial success than in enmity toward Pakistan.

Both countries have traditions of royalty and aristocracy,  but India has become a broad-based society,  with many thousands of families and domestic and foreign investors controlling the economy.  Pakistan is controlled by comparatively few families in collaboration with an equally elitist army,  all seeking to maintain status. Many Pakistanis believe the ruling classes have let down the country.

Which brings us to this,  a closing of each nations boarders every night for the last 54 years.

The evening flag lowering ceremony at the India-Pakistan International Border near Wagah.

From Wikipedia:

PAKISTAN-INDIA-KASHMIR-UNRESTThe Wagah border closing ‘lowering of the flags’ ceremony is a daily military practice that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers) have jointly followed since 1959.  This ceremony takes place every evening before sunset at the Wagah border, which as part of the Grand Trunk Road was the only road link between these two countries before the opening of the Aman Setu in Kashmir in 1999.  The ceremony starts with a blustering parade by the soldiers from both the sides,  and ends up in the perfectly coordinated lowering of the two nations’ flags.  It is called the beating retreat border ceremony on the international level.  One infantryman (Jawan) 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.

Video uploaded by U Tube user MrJahs0nWagah is located on the international highway between Amritsar  India and Lahore  Pakistan.

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