Pakistan marks 70 years of independence with pageantry, reflection

Pakistan, India celebrate independence from British rule
Pakistan, India celebrate independence from British rule

    JUST WATCHED

    Pakistan, India celebrate independence from British rule

MUST WATCH

Pakistan, India celebrate independence from British rule 03:19

Story highlights

  • Partition in 1947 gave birth to two nations, Pakistan and India
  • Pakistan and India celebrate independence from British rule this week

Lahore, Pakistan (CNN)Pakistan celebrated 70 years of independence Monday, with military pageantry, fireworks and flag-hoisting, but also reflected on the turbulent and traumatic events that led to the country's birth.

In 1947, British rulers sliced a giant Indian empire into two new countries: a Hindu-majority India, which celebrates its independence Tuesday, and Pakistan, home to mostly Muslims.
    Pakistan marked the occasion at midnight, with the the country's top ranking military official General Javed Qamar Bajwa hoisting a huge flag, 120 feet by 80 feet, at the Wagah border crossing, at the demarcation line with India.
    Fireworks lit up the sky at midnight as the day's celebrations officially began, but for the past week all of Pakistan's major cities have been decked out with the green and white national flag and lights and bunting of the same colors.
    Youths wear masks as they march on a street in Islamabad on the night of August 13, 2017, to mark the country's Independence Day.
    The country will also host the largest ever air show in the capital, Islamabad, where aerobatic teams from Turkey and Saudi Arabia will participate along with the Pakistan Air Force. Pakistani security forces will also share sweets with their Indian counterparts at the border.
    India's celebrations will go into high gear Tuesday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to address the nation.
    The history of the India-Pakistan partition
    india pakistan partition history kapur pkg_00001514

      JUST WATCHED

      The history of the India-Pakistan partition

    MUST WATCH

    The history of the India-Pakistan partition 03:27

    Partition

    The partition of India and Pakistan ended two centuries of British colonial rule and saw one of the largest human migrations the world has ever seen.
    The border, cutting through Bengal in the east and Punjab in the west, was confirmed two days after India became independent. A line was quickly marked on maps using censuses of "minority" and "majority" populations.
    An estimated 12-15 million people left their homes and crossed the new border based on their faith -- Muslims to Pakistan, while Hindus and Sikhs took the opposite journey.
    At least a million people died in communal attacks as they crossed the border and tens of thousands of women and girls were abducted and raped.
    Men use fireworks in Islamabad on August 14, 2017, to mark the country's Independence Day. 
Pakistan.
    This hastily drawn line and the violence that followed continues to plague ties with India and Pakistan to this day.
    The two nations have fought four wars since 1947 mostly due to disputes over the northern Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir, which both countries claim total control of.
    A picture taken on August 13, 2017 in Lahore shows decoration lights to mark Pakistan's Independence day.
    Attempts to renew dialogue and restore peace have been made numerous times but for now relations between the nuclear-armed neighbors still remain hostile.