India, Pakistan celebrate independence at Wagah border

India, Pakistan celebrate independence at Wagah border

The usual drills by India's Border Security Force (BSF) and the Pakistani Rangers, paramilitaries of the two bordering nations, were replaced by more energetic exercises on the special occasion. Photograph: (AFP)

Reuters Amritsar, Punjab, India Aug 15, 2016, 11.54 AM (IST)
India's Wagah border in northern Punjab state witnessed a lively and colourful evening as hundreds of people gathered on Sunday (August 14) for the Beating Retreat Ceremony on the eve of Independence Day.

A cacophony of patriotic slogans and cheering is witnessed regularly when the ceremony is conducted every evening at Wagah in Amritsar district.

However, the usual drills by India's Border Security Force (BSF) and the Pakistani Rangers, paramilitaries of the two bordering nations, were replaced by more complicated and energetic exercises on the special occasion on Sunday.

Hundreds thronged the galleries and sang along as patriotic songs were played, while dancers in bright outfits enthralled the audiences.

The event was marked by a significant rise in attendance on the Pakistani side too, which celebrated its 69th Independence Day on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, the BSF and the Pakistani Rangers exchanged sweets at the border.

India achieved independence from the British on August 15, 1947, ending decades of rule.

But celebrations to mark independence are tinged with sadness because they also recall the bloody partition from Pakistan in which hundreds and thousands died.

(Reuters)

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

The beating retreat ceremony at the border was marked by patriotic slogans and cheering on Sunday

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