DD, AIR show weather reports from Gilgit- Baltistan from today, officials say more reports to follow

NEW DELHI: Days after India reiterated that Gilgit-Baltistan was part of its territory, national broadcaster Prasar Bharati on Friday started including weather forecasts for these areas in its news bulletins.

Earlier this week, India Meteorological Department (IMD) too started referring to its meteorological sub-division of Jammu and Kashmir as “Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad.”

While Muzaffarabad is part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan is also under illegal Pakistani occupation.

A senior official in Prasar Bharati told ET, “Showing weather forecasts was just the start, and more reports on the socio-political situation in these areas will follow.” The officials said they were closely working with the ministry of external affairs on this.

The weather reports started with forecasts from Mirpur and Muzaffarabad, and other areas in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

A top government official said private news broadcasters will also be advised to carry the weather reports in their news bulletins.

Recently, India had asked Pakistan to vacate the J&K territories that it had illegally occupied. Pakistan has rejected this, calling it a “baseless and fallacious contention.”

Last year the Ministry of Home Affairs released a new map of India depicting Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and several areas occupied by Pakistan within the geographical boundary of India.

The I&B ministry is working with the ministry for external affairs on its external broadcasts, particularly in countries that India shares its borders with, and is also countering the anti-India narrative in Kashmir.

Ministry officials, last year, had held meetings with local cable operators from the valley asking them not to show “unauthorised content with potential to encourage or incite violence and create law and order disturbances” and block the airing of television channels from several, including Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia and Iran.

The Sangh parivar has been pushing for “reclaiming the territories of Bharat under Pakistan’s control.”

Two years ago, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, while congratulating the Indian army for surgical strikes in Pakistan, had reiterated that the “whole of Kashmir, including Mirpur, Muzzafarbad, Gilgit and Baltistan are an inseparable and integral part of India.”

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