The Centre’s decision to ask TV stations to provide weather forecasts for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the northern regions shows a clear shift in strategy from India to Pakistan Imran Khan, people familiar with the developments reported in Friday’s Hindustan Times.
The move was conceived some time ago by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, a senior official said.
The formal proposal, elaborated just over three months ago, entered into force on 3 October. The proposal was sent from the office of Rajinder Hannah, Deputy (Strategic) Advisor on National Security, to the Secretaries of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior in February, with the exception of the heads of India’s two main intelligence services: The Intelligence Bureau and the Investigation and Analysis Department.
Your official approval came last week.
During one of the first discussions that preceded the finalisation of the proposal, the official recalled how Doval talked about the many messages that this one step alone would send.
Doordarshan News included in daily weather reports (DD News/Screengrab) of cities in the occupied territories of Pakistan.
The central point, the official said, is that this is my territory, and I assert my sovereignty by taking all measures.
This week the government informed the public broadcaster Doordarshan of the recording of weather forecasts for Mirpur and Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit in the northern regions that Pakistan calls Baltistan. Some private news channels have already informed the government that they will also change their weather reports.
Doordarshan has also been commissioned to use weather maps covering the entire territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which will serve as a daily representation and public rehearsal of the state of affairs in India.
Doordarshan News has started issuing weather forecasts for three cities of Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Gilgit as part of the
) weather forecast for different parts of the country.
A second senior government official said the decision meant a change in India’s approach, which was seen as a reluctance to do anything to secure an embassy in Pakistan, its allies and the world, that Islamabad had illegally occupied more than 86,000 square kilometres of Jammu and Kashmir.
On the one hand, maintaining sovereignty becomes particularly important because of the Sino-Pakistani economic corridor that runs through the northern regions, or because of the vast Gilgit-Baltistan region, which is almost twice the size of Kerala.
When China implemented the Belt and Road initiative a few years ago, it expected that India would participate in the project by crossing the northern areas controlled by Pakistan. When India protested, Beijing asked New Delhi to join, as this would not affect Kashmir’s status as a dispute between the two countries.
The daily weather map reinforces India’s message through J&K every day, the official said.
The daily weather forecast and the map of India on television screens also illustrate India’s strong perception of the Occupied Territories and the fact that Pakistan is bringing about major changes in the region and exploiting its people.
In many ways, the official said, the map of India on TV screens also highlights the plight of the people in these regions, whose rights are violated daily by Islamabad.
There is another constituency to which India hopes to draw attention: the political establishment in the United Kingdom, with the request not to take sides.
A large proportion of Pakistani expatriates in Britain come from Mirpur, which has close ties to Labour Party leaders such as Jeremy Corbin, who turned to the resolution for international intervention after India lifted the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.