Attari: Border Security Force (BSF) troopers on high alert along the India-Pakistan international border after a massive blast left over 45 people dead and over 70 others injured at Wagah in neighbouring Pakistan, on Nov.2, 2014. (Photo: IANS). (Photo: IANS)

Pakistan Resumes Flag-Lowering Ceremony at Wagah Border as Surprised Indian Side Empty

The decision to suspend the flag-lowering ceremony that takes place at Wagah border crossing between India and Pakistan daily in the evening until Thursday has been resumed by Pakistani troops by holding the ceremony in front of thousands of cheering Pakistanis but no Indians, who were taken by surprise and had no time to rush visitors.

Both the countries had decided to suspend the daily flag-lowering ceremony for three days regarding the Wagah border attack but Indians were shocked to see Pakistan troops conducting the ceremony on Tuesday evening.

According to reports, “The BSF officials including the top brass were surprised at about 4.50pm when a large number of tourists started pouring in the Pakistani gallery. There were loudspeakers, national flags and slogan-shouting by thousands of tourists on the Pakistani side but the Indian Gallery looked deserted with not even a single person sitting there.”

Meanwhile, BSF Inspector General Ashok Kumar said, “They (Pakistan troops) had first said that there will be no flag-lowering ceremony for three days following the blast. But we were informed around 4 pm on Monday that Pakistan wants to conduct the ceremony. They had even gathered people for the retreat. They wanted to show the normalcy.”

Kumar said that though people had turned up to see the ceremony, they had left once the officials announced the suspension of ceremony for three days. He said, “As it was mutually agreed that no ceremony will take place for three days, the visitors did not turn up on our side. A few, who had earlier arrived at the border, had left after hearing the announcement.”

Meanwhile, the public from the Pakistani side was allowed to view the flaglowering ceremony at the Indo-Pak border.

However, as per reports, BSF IG Punjab Frontier, Ashok Kumar said, “We have not liked whatever has happened. It was Pakistani Rangers who requested us that they were not in a position to hold ceremony last night. But today at 4pm they requested that they want to hold ceremony. So we also held it.”

According to reports, the flag-lowering ceremony will be open to the public from Tuesday evening. The ceremony has been taking place for the last 55 years with members of Pakistan’s Rangers and India’s Border Security Force marching and lowering their countries’ flags. Every evening, both Indian and Pakistani soldiers would parade close to each other and present a grand military spectacle.

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