Day after attack on students, Wagah mute spectator to pain | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Day after attack on students, Wagah mute spectator to pain

The nearly empty spectator gallery, absence of music and a lowered flag indicated the sombre mood of a nation recovering from the brutal attack on innocent schoolchildren by Talibani militants in Peshawar.

punjab Updated: Dec 18, 2014 08:35 IST
Aseem Bassi

The nearly empty spectator gallery, absence of music and a lowered flag indicated the sombre mood of a nation recovering from the brutal attack on innocent schoolchildren by Talibani militants in Peshawar.

A day after a horrific attack in Pakistan killed more than 100 students, the other side of the Radcliffe Line was devoid of energy and vibrancy, indicating the agony of the neighbouring nation.

The Pakistani gallery that is normally jam packed and has around 4,000 people saw merely 100-120 spectators at about 4.30pm when the retreat ceremony began. There were also no patriotic songs to charge up the audience.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced a three-day national mourning after the incident.

However, on the Indian side, routine marked the day. Spectators thronged the place in huge numbers and music and dance continued as normal.

Aggression as usual

Even though the Pakistani gallery wore a gloomy look, there was no dearth of aggression when it came to the Pakistani Rangers and Border Security Force jawans during the retreat ceremony.

Starting off with a couple of foot stomps, the BSF personnel and Pakistani Rangers moved towards one another with their arms swinging and postures erect.

As the gates opened, the scripted story of aggression was on display again.

Even when a suicide bomber had blown himself up on the Pakistani side in November, killing over 50 people, the Pakistani Rangers had continued with the ceremony in full momentum.

However, the killing of schoolchildren seems to have ripped Pakistan.

At the time of the Wagah blast, Pakistan had asked India to suspend the ceremony for three days but later, went ahead with the ceremony without informing the Indian side.