The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has started including cities under Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in its forecasts, its chief said on Thursday.
“The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has been issuing weather bulletin for entire Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh area. We are mentioning Gilgit-Baltistan, Muzaffarabad in the bulletin as they are the parts of India,” news agency ANI quoted IMD Director General Mrutyunjoy Mohapatra as saying.
“For a long time, IMD has been issuing severe weather forecast for Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal etc. We were mentioning this information in our national bulletin. For past two days, we have started mentioning this information in our regional bulletin,” ANI quoted Mohapatra as further saying.
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, news agency PTI reported.
These cities of PoK have now found a place in the overall forecast of the northwest division. The IMD’s 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 been of a position that the PoK belongs to India.
The inclusion of Muzaffarabad and Gilgit-Baltistan in the forecast comes amid Pakistan’s Supreme Court allowing elections in Gilgit-Baltistan this week. India had strongly reacted to the development.
A senior Pakistani diplomat was served a “demarche”, or formal diplomatic representation over telephone, to lodge India’s strong protest against the Pakistani Supreme Court’s order.
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.