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.
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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.