Attari (Punjab), Aug 15 (IANS) Border guards of India and Pakistan on Monday exchanged pleasantries and sweets at the Attari-Wagah joint checkpost to mark India’s 70th Independence Day.
A special cultural function was organised by the Indian authorities at the joint check post, some 30 km from Amritsar, where the national flag was hoisted in the morning and the symbolic Retreat ceremony,that saw a gathering of thousands of people, was conducted in the evening.
Before the Retreat ceremony that includes the lowering of national flags and closing of the border gates on both sides, senior Border Security Force (BSF) officials exchanged sweets with their Pakistani counterparts, a BSF officer here told IANS.
They also hugged and shook hands with one another for a few minutes, he said.
A day earlier, the Pakistan Rangers also exchanged sweets on the occasion of their Independence Day.
The visitors on the Indian side could be heard shouting pro-India slogans and dancing to the tunes of patriotic songs. On the Pakistani side, only a few Pakistan Rangers were there to watch the ceremony.
Indian Customs officials also offered sweets to their Pakistani counterparts at the joint checkpost, a Customs official said requesting anonymity.
Last year after the two terror attacks in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, the BSF celebrated Independence Day here but there was no ceremonial exchange of sweets with the Pakistani Rangers.
Border guards from both sides normally exchange greetings and sweets on the occasion of prominent religious festivals and other occasions like Independence Day of both countries as a goodwill gesture.