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IMD includes Gilgit-Baltistan, Muzaffarabad in its weather forecasts

India Meteorological Department (IMD) included Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad regions as part of its Jammu & Kashmir meteorological sub-division.

May 8, 2020 12:52 IST
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The India Meteorological Department has started releasing the weather forecasts of Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad. IMD included the regions as part of its Jammu & Kashmir meteorological sub-division.

Gilgit-Baltistan has been in the northwest subdivision of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). While India has always claimed the entire Jammu & Kashmir as a part of India.

IMD stated that since Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh were announced as two separate Union Territories of India, it started mentioning the regions in its national weather bulletin.

IMD on including regions in its weather forecasts:

M. Mohapatra, Director-General of Meteorology, IMF explained that the department will share the weather forecast of the regions that come under the Indian Territory. As Ladakh, which was a part of J&K earlier, has been mentioned in the forecasts ever since it became the Union Territory, it was decided to include Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad as well. The department has also been planning on setting up a meteorological station in Ladakh soon.

Responsibility as an International Agency:

IMD has a responsibility as an international agency as it acts as a specialised regional meteorological centre for the South Asian region which provided cyclones forecasts to all the member countries. Since 2016, the department has been providing severe weather forecasts to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, which also includes Pakistan.

Nine sub- divisions of Northwest Meteorological divisions:

Jammu & Kashmir

Uttarakhand

Punjab

Himachal Pradesh

East Uttar Pradesh

West Uttar Pradesh

East Rajasthan

West-Rajasthan

Delhi-Chandigarh-Haryana

What did the decision mean for India and Pakistan?

The decision of including Gilgit-Baltistan in the weather forecasts by IMD has come within the days after Pakistan allowed Islamabad to hold elections in Gilgit- Baltistan. Pakistan had also allowed the federal government’s application for setting up a caretaker government and conducting the elections in the occupied region.

India had resented this decision. The foreign ministry had said that the continued attempts of Pakistan to bring material changes in the areas occupied by Pakistan in Jammu & Kashmir will always be rejected by India.

The inclusion of the regions in the weather forecasts can be considered as a step to convey a significant message to Pakistan.

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