New Delhi: Amid Pakistan’s repeated efforts at claiming Kashmir to be a part of their own country, retired Colonel Wajahat Hasan at the UNHRC on Wednesday scoffed at Pakistan for repeatedly calling Jammu and Kashmir a “disputed area”.

“Pakistan says that the whole J&K is a disputed territory so there should be rights of self-determination. I must say that how Pakistan can claim that it is a disputed territory?” Hasan asked at the 42nd meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“They have kept Gilgit-Baltistan under the cockpit of Kashmir for so long era that people don’t now about Gilgit-Baltistan’s importance and its link with the J&K state overall,” he added.

Retired Colonel Hasan, who hails from Gilgit Baltistan area of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has been touring the neighbouring country raising the issue of the poor economic conditions of the people there.

Colonel Hasan’s statement was backed by Gilgit Baltistan activist Senge H Sering who firmly stated that Gilgit Baltistan is very much a part of India. “Gilgit-Baltistan is a part of India. The members of the United Nations need to realise that Pakistan has become a huge stumbling block for the last 70 years,” he said.

“Article 370 had become a tool in the hands of few in J&K which gave them veto power over other ethnic and religious groups. People who were benefitting from it became allies of Pakistani military & were promoting Pak’s strategic interests in J&K,” he added.

He further added that by repeatedly raising the Kashmir issue at the international level, Pakistan was simply pretending to show solidarity with the people of the terror-struck region, and instead were abusing the rights of Kashmiris for their own benefit.