The country will soon have a ‘Wagah in the East’ along the Bangladesh border where troops of both countries, dressed in full regalia, will perform the retreat — ceremonial lowering of flags — similar to the tradition prevalent along the India-Pakistan border.
The decision was taken during the five-day joint coordination meeting of border forces of India and Bangladesh in New Delhi.
“We have taken some new decisions. Something apart the usual beaten track.... We have a joint retreat ceremony at Attari-Wagah border where the Pakistani forces and BSF join together in the retreat ceremony lowering the flags.
“We have decided in-principle to have a similar joint retreat ceremony at the Petraploe border (along Bangladesh frontier),” Border Security Force Director-General Raman Srivastava told reporters in New Delhi on the conclusion of the joint border talks with the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB).
The two sides will be examining whether such ceremonies, which they hope will be symbolic of the “good relations” between them, are possible at Akhora and Phoolbani too.
“We have decided to set up a joint committee to explore the modalities methodologies and the other relevant issues of this ceremony and hopefully within a couple of months we should be able to start such a ceremony after working out the modalities,” he said
“We hope the ceremony will be even more beautiful and more congenial than the ceremony at Attari and Wagah. In due course of time, it will become a major tourist attraction like the Attari Wagah ceremony,” the BSF DG said.
The force, according to a senior BSF officer, would also deploy its recently inducted women personnel to carry out the ceremonies at this frontier.
India and Pakistan have been traditionally hosting the flag-lowering ceremonies at the Wagah Attari border for many years now and the event is attended by a huge number of people from both the countries as well as foreign nationals.
Greetings and gifts are exchanged by officials at this frontier during national festivals like Independence Day, Republic Day and festivals like Diwali, Holi and Eid.
The BGB delegation, till recently known as the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), was led by its Director-General Major General Rafiqul Islam.