The Wagah border, often called the “Berlin wall of Asia” is a ceremonial border on the India–Pakistan Border where each evening there is a retreat ceremony called ‘lowering of the flags’ At that time there is an energetic parade by the Border Security Force (B.S.F) of India and the Pakistan Rangers soldiers. It may appear slightly aggressive and even hostile to foreigners. Troops of each country put on a show in their uniforms with their colorful turbans. Border officials from the two countries sometimes walk over to the offices on the other side for day to day affairs. The happenings at this border post have been a barometer of the India-Pakistan relations over the years.
Wagah is the only road border crossing between India and Pakistan and lies on the Grand Trunk Road between the cities of Amritsar, India and Lahore, Pakistan. Wagah itself is a village through which the controversial Radcliff Line was drawn. The village was divided by independence in 1947. Today, the eastern half of the village remains in India whilst the western half is in Pakistan.
Samjhauta Express, the train service between Lahore and Delhi, plies twice a week from Attari railway station, 5 km from Wagah. The National Highway 1 of India starts from Wagah Border, and is the transit point for the Delhi–Lahore Bus service operating within the Punjab between Amritsar and Lahore, which was started in 2004 as relations between the two countries improved
On August 14–15, 2001, the respective Independence days of Pakistan and India, the candle-lighting ceremony at the Wagah border, in which 15,000 Pakistani citizens and 50,000 Indian citizens took part, was seen as a reflection of the changing public mood over India-Pakistan reconciliation such candlelight vigils and the yearly ‘Midnight Peace Festivals’ were also reported in subsequent years.
There have been many calls for the opening up of Wagah border to promote Indo-Pak trade through increased transport between India and Pakistan. In March 2005, a delegation of the Indian Border Security Force met the Pakistan Rangers at the Wagah border to discuss the border issue after three years since the 2001–2002 India–Pakistan standoff. With over 10000 people visiting the border on an average day just on the Indian side governments have started developing Wagah as a tourist destination, improving tourist and custom facilities. The Indian government plans to develop a global tourist complex at the Wagah-Attari border, which lies 30 km away from Amritsar.