India / IMD starts including Gilgit-Baltistan, areas under PoK in weather forecast

TV9 Bharatvarsh : May 07, 2020, 05:24 PM
New Delhi: The Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) regional weather centre has started including areas in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) in its weather forecasts, a departure from its earlier format, officials said on Thursday.

The weather department has started including Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh’s Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan) and Muzaffarabad, which are under Pakistan’s illegal occupation, under the Jammu and Kashmir meteorological sub-division since May 5, said Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the Regional Meteorological Department that gives forecast for the northwest meteorological division of the IMD.

IMD Director General M Mohapatra said they have been mentioning areas under PoK under its daily weather bulletin ever since the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir in the two union territories in August last year.

However, officials said it’s now being mentioned explicitly under the Jammu and Kashmir subdivision.

These areas in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have now found a place in the overall forecast of India’s northwest division.

The northwest division consists of nine sub-divisions – Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi-Chandigarh-Haryana, Punjab, east Uttar Pradesh, west Uttar Pradesh, east Rajasthan and west Rajasthan.

The development assumes significance as New Delhi has always maintained the position that all of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, including Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan) in an integral and inseparable part of India.

The inclusion of Muzaffarabad and Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan) in the forecast comes amid news that Pakistan’s Supreme Court, which has no jurisdiction, is illegally allowing elections in Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan) this week. India has strongly reacted to the development.

Sources added that internally, it was pointed out that since IMD has been mentioning these areas in PoK in its daily national weather bulletin and also the local bulletins, they should also find a place in the forecasts of the regional weather centre.

Mr Mohapatra said that the IMD, being the World Meteorological Department nominated Regional Meteorological Centre, provides severe weather warnings to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan detailing forecasts for the next five days.

Earlier this week, the Indian had demanded that Pakistan should vacate PoK.

Pakistan is preparing to hold elections in Gilgit-Baltistan, with the country’s Supreme Court also ordering polls in the disputed region.

However, India has strongly objected to this move by Pakistan. India has clearly stated that Gilgit-Baltistan is a part of Jammu and Kashmir, a part of which is under illegal occupation of Pakistan.

The rulers of Islamabad and the army generals in Rawalpindi are not bothered by the high number of people affected by coronavirus in Pakistan. There is no hurry to save the dying people in the country. If there is haste, then it is to hold elections in the illegal occupied Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan recently ordered the government to hold elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and amend the law related to it, to which the Indian Foreign Ministry has strongly objected.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Pakistan has been clearly told that Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Gilgit-Baltistan are legally parts of India. The Government of Pakistan or the courts there cannot take any decision on this illegal possession. India will never tolerate these antics.

Delhi has clearly told Islamabad that Pakistan cannot conduct elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Indian government has also asserted that because Gilgit-Baltistan is an integral part of India, Pakistan should immediately evacuate the region.

The Modi government has clarified India’s claim on Jammu and Kashmir on several occasions earlier.

Pakistan has mortgaged large parts of Gilgit-Baltistan to China. The people here are being brutally tortured. People of this region have repeatedly raised their voice for independence from Pakistan. But the Pakistani army has suppressed the voice of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.

This beautiful region was once part of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier it was called Northern Territory i.e. Northern Areas. It is bounded on the north by China and Afghanistan, on the west by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan and on the east by India. Due to its geography, this area is strategically important for India, China and Pakistan.

Millions of people living in Gilgit-Baltistan reportedly want independence from Pakistan.