Sunday 20 July 2008

Summer 2008 in Lahore: Visit to the Wagha Border

The Wagha Border is that part of Pakistan's border with India where all of the flag-raising type ceremonies take place (not too far outside Lahore). I expected this to be a boring trip, but it actually turned out to be one of the best days of the holiday. I was surprised by the excitement, noise and patriotism of the people. After much discussion and comment about Pakistan's downward slide, this was a refreshing change.

The writing says "baab-e-azadi" (gate to freedom)

The flag-lowering ceremony tales place at 6pm every day and is preceded by much marching, shouting and glaring by the border guards who are very fierce looking. There were three members of the public also present, who apparently turn up every day. Dressed in the colours of the national flag they prompt the crowd to cheer, shout slogans and shout takbir (say "Allah ho Akbar"). A few meters away, on the other side of the border, sit the Indian crowd. I assume they do the same, but we couldn't hear over the crowd.

After the ceremony, we wandered over to the scary looking guards to take photo's with the kids, and they were actually quite nice, smiling for photo's and allowing the children to sit with them on their horses. From where we took the photo's, I could see straight over the barbed wire to fields on the Indian side. I looked over and thought, its the same earth, created by the same Rabb, no difference at all.

More pics here.
Extract from Michael Palin programme here.


  1. i think i saw this on a BBC documentry, didn't ealise its quite an occasion intresting.

  2. Assalam-alaikam Sis Rainbow,
    I really liked the clip, it showed the whole event quite well. A bit bonkers really.

  3. i find a lot of these Muslims lands are very nationalist.