Days after officially asking Pakistan to vacate the occupied Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in a significant move has added Muzaffarabad and Gilgit-Baltistan to its meteorological sub-division of Jammu and Kashmir. The IMD has now started referring to Jammu and Kashmir sub-division as "Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit Baltistan, Muzaffarabad."

IMD inlcudes PoK, Gilgit Baltistan in its weather forecast
Screengrab of the IMD weather forecast for Gilgit-Baltistan.Source: IMD Website

"India Meteorological Department (IMD) has been issuing weather bulletin for the entire Jammu & Kashmir & Ladakh area. We are mentioning Gilgit-Baltistan, Muzaffarabad in the bulletin as they are the parts of India," IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra was quoted as saying by ANI.

IMD issues daily forecast for the northwest division that includes nine sub-divisions - Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi-Chandigarh-Haryana, Punjab, east Uttar Pradesh, west Uttar Pradesh, east Rajasthan and west Rajasthan.

A message to Pakistan after its SC allowed elections in Gilgit-Baltistan

The move to bring Pakistan occupied territories under its weather forecast is seen as New Delhi's message to Islamabad and the rest of the world that Kashmir, including PoK, is an integral part of India. It has also come days after Pakistan's Supreme Court went beyond its jurisdiction to allow the Imran Khan-led federal government to hold elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.

India had opposed the move and warned Pakistan against any attempt to bring material changes in PoK, which is an Indian territory but under the illegal occupation of Islamabad. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs also asked Pakistan to vacate all the areas under its illegal occupation.

"The Government of Pakistan or its judiciary has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it. India completely rejects such actions and continued attempts to bring material changes in Pakistan occupied areas of the Indian territory of Jammu & Kashmir. Instead, Pakistan should immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation," the MEA spokesperson said in a statement.