WAGHA, Pakistan – A routine daily flag-lowering ceremony at an Indian-Pakistani border crossing has become a show of strength and patriotism on the Pakistani side thanks to simmering tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.
Thousands of Pakistanis thronged the border town of Wagha Saturday to watch their soldiers lower the flag. The ceremony takes place daily and features a formal set of handshakes between Indian and Pakistani soldiers. Very few people attended from the Indian side.
Saturday's ceremony took on extra meaning because of an ongoing dispute between India and Pakistan over the contested territory of Kashmir.
The latest tensions were sparked by a militant attack on an Indian army base in Kashmir that killed 18 Indian soldiers. Both countries claim the Himalayan territory, which is split between Indian and Pakistani-controlled zones.