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Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq
 
 
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Profile
Mirwaiz Kashmir Mohammad Umar Farooq (born 23 March 1973) is a Kashmiri leader. He is the chairman of the Awami Action Committee, one of the two key factions of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a "grassroots coalition" of pro-Pakistan and pro-freedom parties in Jammu and Kashmir.

In October 2014, Farooq was listed as one of The 500 Most Influential Muslims by the 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.

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.

Umar did his schooling from the prestigious Burn Hall High School. A computer freak, which he remains till this day, Umar wanted to become a computer engineer. His father's death, however, forced him to take up an entirely different path that he had not perceived for himself. He completed his graduation in Arts from the Kashmir University and simultaneously the 'Moulvi Fazil' a postgraduate degree in Islamic studies. Umar was catapulted into limelight soon after his father Moulvi Muhammad Farooq was assassinated in 1990 when militancy was gaining momentum. The entire responsibility fell on his shoulders. Groomed by a bunch of intellectuals, he soon learned the tricks of the trade and delivered the goods.

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

Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Umar Farooq as chairman APHC has undertaken several visits to many countries including America and Casablanca where he represented the oppressed Kashmiris. Besides, he has participated in several seminars, conferences, symposia ,numerous gatherings and get-togethers at various levels where he has put across his viewpoint vis-a-vis the long-cherished aspiration of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

He has participated several times as an observer in the OIC meetings, and has utilized these meetings with the heads of the member countries describing and analyzing the genesis, background and foreground of Kashmir issue which has been hanging fire necessitating its peaceful resulation for a durable place in the sub-continent

He became the 14th Mirwaiz (Kashmiri term for traditional preacher of Muslims in Kashmir) in 1990. Before joining Kashmir politics, Farooq was an alumnus of Burn Hall School in Srinagar. He had interests in computers and wanted to become a software engineer. He holds a PhD. in Islamic Studies from Kashmir University.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq married to Sheba Masoodi. Sheba Masoodi is the youngest daughter of Sibtain Masoodi, a Kashmiri doctor who left the Valley in the 1970s and settled in Buffalo in the US. Masoodi has three daughters and a son. Sheba was born in the mid-70s in the US. The family has a house in Barzulla locality of Kashmir and occasionally visits the Valley.


 
 
 
 
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