The Tribune – Peaceniks want Retreat to symbolise peace

Neeraj Bagga, Tribune News Service

Amritsar, 11 February 2017. Peaceniks have requested governments of India and Pakistan to turn the Retreat, a daily flag-lowering ceremony between India and Pakistan at the Attari-Wagah Joint Check Post, into a symbol of peace and co-existence.

These peaceniks, from across the state, were unanimous in their opinion. They were at Khalsa College here today for a seminar held jointly by the Sai Mian Meer International Foundation and Folklore Research Academy.

A memorandum was also sent to Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif to set up visa consulates of Pakistan and India in Amritsar and Lahore for the free movement of people across the border.

The current phase of bitter bilateral relations between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan has increased belligerent posturing and gestures between border guards of both nations during the ceremony.

Foundation head Harbhajan Singh Brar said that provocative gestures went up at the ceremony after the Indian military carried out a surgical strike on September 29.

The 45-minute ceremony takes place daily and features a formal set of handshakes between Indian and Pakistani soldiers.

But now, it is interspersed with ferocious opening of border gates and stares before making a brusque handshake.


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