In a move clearly aimed at riling India, Radio Pakistan, Pakistan’s national broadcaster, on Sunday included parts of what it calls “Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir" in it's daily weather bulletin.
The tit-for-tat move follows India last week including Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad as part of its Jammu and Kashmir meteorological sub-division.
“In most parts of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, partly cloudy weather is expected with chances of rain," the Radio Pakistan weather forecast posted on its Twitter page said.
“In Srinagar, the maximum temperature is 26 degree centigrade and minimum temperature is 14 degree centigrade," it said.
“In Pulwama, the maximum temperature is 17 degree centigrade and minimum temperature is 7 degree centigrade," it said.
“In Jammu, the maximum temperature is 36 degree centigrade and minimum temperature is 24 degree centigrade," the Radio Pakistan report said adding: “In Ladakh, maximum temperature is minus 4 degree centigrade and minimum temperature is minus 1 degree centigrade."
India and Pakistan both claim the state of Jammu and Kashmir in its entirety. But both administer it in parts. Last year, India abrogated article 370 of its constitution that gave Kashmir special status and integrated the region more closely with India, a move that infuriated Pakistan. India says that Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad are territories currently under Pakistani occupation.
When asked, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday said it had started mentioning the region in its national weather bulletin ever since Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh were made two separate Union territories last year after the abrogation of Article 370. However, it was not explicitly mentioned in the regional forecast for northwest India, which it has started doing now.
The northwest meteorological division consists of nine sub-divisions -- J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi-Chandigarh-Haryana, Punjab, east Uttar Pradesh, west Uttar Pradesh, east Rajasthan and west Rajasthan.
“We will share the weather forecast for whatever region that comes under the Indian territory. Earlier Ladakh was part of J & K state, but now the situation is different as it is a separate union territory, so when we mention Ladakh, we decided to mention Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzzafarabad as well," said M Mohaptra, Director General of Meteorology, India Meteorological Department (IMD), New Delhi.
The weather department also plans to set up a meteorological station in Ladakh soon.
Mohapatra also said since IMD acts as a specialized Regional Meteorological Centre for the South Asia region, it also has responsibility as an international agency.
The Indian move followed a Pakistan Supreme Court decision to allow Islamabad to hold elections in Gilgit-Baltistan. Last month, Pakistan’s top court had allowed the federal government’s application to set up a caretaker government and conduct provincial assembly elections. India had lodged a “strong protest" against the decision, saying Pakistani institutions had “no locus standi on territories illegally or forcibly occupied by it"