Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

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Dr.Mohammad Umar Farooq
Born (1973-03-23)23 March 1973
India Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Nationality Indian
Ethnicity Kashmiri
Occupation Separatist Leader and Religious Cleric

Mohammad Umar Farooq (born 23 March 1973) is a hereditary Kashmiri political leader who is the chairman of the Awami Action Committee and of one of the two key factions of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a "grassroots coalition" of pro-Pakistan and pro-separatist parties in Jammu & Kashmir. On October 2014, Mirwaiz was listed as one of The 500 Most Influential Muslims in world. by Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, Jordan.The report is issued annually in cooperation with Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in the United States.[1]

As the Mirwaiz (Mir-Head; Waiz-Priest) of Kashmir and chairman of the Hurriyat Conference has both an important religious and political role in the Kashmir Valley, and Farooq is seen as the spiritual leader of Kashmir’s Muslims.[2]

At the age of 17, following the assassination of his father by unknown gunmen, Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, the leader of Awami Action Committee, Umar Farooq united 23 Kashmiri pro-Pakistan organizations into the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC). He has constantly tried to raise much awareness about the Kashmir issue internationally. He was also shown among the Asian Heroes by the Times magazine.[3][4] He maintains that dialogue must take place with India and Pakistan, so long as the Kashmiri aspirations are heard as well.

He inherited as the 14th Mirwaiz (Kashmiri term for traditional preacher of Muslims in Kashmir) in 1990. Before joining the pro-Pakistan Kashmir politics, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was an alumnus of the prestigious Burn Hall School in Srinagar, he had interests in computers and he wanted to become a software engineer. But fate had something else in store for this man, who became the founder-chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference at the age of 20. He also holds a PhD. in Islamic Studies from Kashmir University.

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