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The Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Friday said that DD News and All India Radio will broadcast temperatures and weather reports of Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) in their prime-time news bulletins.
This came a day after the India Meteorological Department said that the cities are part of India and that it would give their weather updates in its daily bulletin.
The weather department had 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.
In today’s bulletin, IMD showed that the maximum and minimum temperatures in Muzaffarabad and Gilgit remained -1.6 to 3 degrees below normal.
Ministry Secretary Amit Khare said, “With effect from today, DD News and All India Radio will broadcast temperatures and weather reports of Indian towns and cities including Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit in their prime-time news bulletins.”
DD News will telecast the prediction at 8.55 am and 8.55 pm. Private channels will also follow the lead soon.
IMD Director General M Mohapatra said on Thursday 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.
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 Gilgit-Baltistan this week.
India had on Monday demarched senior Pakistan diplomat and lodged a strong protest to Pakistan over an order by that country’s supreme court allowing the conduct of general elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The Ministry of External Affairs said Pakistan was told that entire Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including areas of Gilgit-Baltistan, are an integral part of India and that Islamabad should immediately vacate the areas under its illegal occupation.
The MEA further said that the government of Pakistan or its judiciary has no locus standi on territories “illegally and forcibly occupied” by it.
India asserted that it “completely rejects” such actions and continued attempts to bring material changes in Pakistan occupied areas of the Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Instead, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation,” it added.
The Government of India’s position in the matter is reflected in the resolution passed by the Parliament in 1994 by consensus, the ministry said.
It further added that Pakistan’s recent actions can neither hide the “illegal occupation” of parts of union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh by it nor the “grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom” to the people residing in these areas for the past seven decades.