Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, a post graduate in Islamic studies, took on the challenging role of mirwaiz in May 1990 at the age of 17 when his father, Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, was assassinated at his house in Kashmir.
Under his chairmanship in 1993 emerged the All Party Hurriyat Conference
(APHC), a loose conglemartion of 23 Kashmiri separatist parties, which claimed itself to be the legitimate voice of the Kahmiris in the region and demanded to be included in any talks on Kahmir.
Unlike his father, Umer Farooq does not favour much a dialogue with the Indian government. During the Agra Summit in July 2001, in defiance of India’s pressure, Pervez Musharraf met the mirwaiz and other Kashmiri leaders in Agra.