Kashmiri separatists seek Saudi mediation to end dispute

March 17, 2010

Mirwaiz Umar FarooqMirwaiz Umar Farooq, a senior Kashmiri separatist leader, has urged Saudi Arabia to use its influence and bring India and Pakistan closer to solve the decades-long conflict over the disputed Himalayan region.

Farooq arrived in the Kingdom last Thursday to perform the Umrah pilgrimage and his visit, two weeks after the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is being considered significant.

Farooq is chairman of Kashmir’s moderate separatist alliance — the All Parties Hurriyat Conference.

Saudi Arabia has old and close ties with Muslim Pakistan and has also been mentioned as a possible mediator in any political settlement with the Taliban in Afghanistan, where India and Pakistan have been battling for influence since long.

Singh’s visit, the first to Saudi Arabia by an Indian leader since 1982, sought to build economic ties and to enlist Riyadh’s help in improving regional security.

“Currently, a rethink is going on in India. Given the strengthening of ties between India and the Kingdom, New Delhi would be more comfortable with Saudi mediation than any other country,” Farooq told Arab News.

Farooq said Saudi Arabia has a history of playing positive roles in disputes and in addressing the problems faced by Muslims around the globe, particularly in Afghanistan and Palestine.

“Kashmiris would be more than happy if the Kingdom mediated on our behalf.”

Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority region, where anti-India sentiments still runs deep, is claimed both by India and Pakistan but  the two rivals rule the scenic region in parts and have fought wars over it.

The appeal to Saudi Arabia for mediation, the first by a Kashmiri separatist since an anti-India revolt broke out in 1989, has come at a time when New Delhi has indicated it was open to a new round of talks with Pakistan, after last month’s dialogue between officials of the two countries ended without a breakthrough.

The Kashmir alliance is still discussing how to seek the Kingdom’s help and have not yet made any concrete plans.

But Farooq said a delegation of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference will visit Riyadh within a month and hold talks with the Saudi leadership.

In the past, New Delhi has always refused third-party mediation over Kashmir and any outside help in improving its relations with Pakistan.

Though Kashmiri separatists believe New Delhi would be more comfortable with Saudi mediation than any other country, will India accept Riyadh’s help for resolution of the Kashmir dispute?


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Though New Delhi is under U S pressure to end Kashmir problem but I dont think the India will accept any help from saudia arabia for resolving Kashmir issue. They infact seek help from Saudi’s for making thier position strong in Afghnanistan. Hurruayt’s efforts are going to be a an excercise in futility.

Posted by drshugufta | Report as abusive

india has always unwelcomed any country’s interference in resolving kashmir issue but if saudi’s mediation can bring any solution then i think india should take a step ahead.

Posted by shanuzhat | Report as abusive

There is no question we involve a outsider to have solve our own problem.The effort of Mr.Mirwaiz Umar Farooq shows it has been influence by across the border or just want to bring more party to this and make it a issue.
This isn’t a issue.The fact remain same kashmir was part of INDIA and will remain so.

Posted by raamprathap | Report as abusive

There is absolutely no need to involve any third party howsoever benevolent it may be in any of the talks on Indo -Pak relations. India is fully capable of handling Pakistan and its ill intentions. Sooner or later saner element in Pakistan will realise that their half a century old agenda of hate towards India has marred their own growth and left it poor while India has moved on to become an economical superpower.

Posted by bvnshah | Report as abusive

I think this is the best solution to end militancy in the region. But it is to be seen whether both the countries will trust Suadia Arabia. At least people of sub continent crave for peace and peace should be given a chance.

Posted by ehsan1234 | Report as abusive

India has never been sincere to resolve the Kashmir issue. It got a golden opportunity to resolve the issue when Parvez Mushraf was in command of Pakistan. But India’s stubborn approach derailed the entire process. Even if now Saudi intervenes, I believe that it will not bear any fruit to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Posted by Majidji | Report as abusive

Separtists in Jammu & Kashmir are ostensibly rooting for accession with Pakistan.Joining with Pakistan merely on the ground that Kashmir has Muslim majority and borders with Pakistan on the western side negates the concept of Indian union which has all along stood for pluralism and unity in diversity.Kashmir presently enjoys special status with own flag and constitution.It is one of the largest recipients of the grants from Centre.India controls 60% of the area of formerly princely state,remaining mostly under Pakistan.All the vociferous leaders of Kashmir are taking full advantage of munificence of the Union Govt.They must stridently raise,in international forum, the bogey of Indian domination for their own political existence.Admittedly Pakistan can’t be wholly faulted for fishing in troubled waters.Pakistan,like India,has many more problems. India needs to be firm and separatists will take back seat.
Arab Countries may not see the truth behind smokescreen created by mercenary (or TRP driven)media, separatists and US’s propensity to please others at the expense of India.

Posted by bakwas | Report as abusive

I am sure India will be comfortable with Saudi Arabia leaders. Both are friendly with United States which is putting lot of pressure on Indians to solve Kashmir. I think India should avail this opportunity and accept Saudi mediation and end bloodshed in Valley and outside.

Posted by haleem11 | Report as abusive

The fact is that J&K was Independent before partition of India and will achieve independence sooner or later, no matter who so ever will mediate.

Posted by haleem11 | Report as abusive


@I am sure India will be comfortable with Saudi Arabia leaders. Both are friendly with United States which is putting lot of pressure on Indians to solve Kashmir.”

—Personally In think it is BS that the USA is pushing India on Kashmir. It may be a nudge by the USA at max, which India can very well ignore since nothing is going to help the Af-Pak. It will be interesting to know how it comes out that the USA is putting pressure on India on this. Somehow I feel it is a good small project for a summer trainee to find out the substance and interpretation of the statements and actions of certain people and countries.

Point is why it is not taken that India is making moves to do soemthing real. Why that is hard to swallow–perhaps because of the propaganda that India can never make Kashmiri happy. One needs to look at the offers made by India–not a complete list: 1). Kashmiri militants have been given an offer to put down guns in exchange for joining the mainstream—taken up already by some militants and are out of this AK-47 loop.
2)Indian PM Singh went to Sringar to address a public rally. 3) He Offered to talk to Kashmiri separatists who put his offer down because they said without Pakistan they will not sit with India. 4). Now Singh visiting Saudis partly in connection with Kashmir and the other part–trade–will help Kashmir cause.

I am not sure how all this can be implied as the USA’s pressure on India. Let us be mature and begin to give credit (and discredit) where it matters.

Kashmir will be solved only when two parties drop guns and sit at the table. Terrorism in India is an issue that is labeled as the work of non-state actors or freedom fighters. Hell they are terrorists. I already see terrorist Hafeez Saeed’s picture next to Jinnah on the wall.

@ I think India should avail this opportunity and accept Saudi mediation and end bloodshed in Valley and outside.”
—Add Pakistan also in your statemnt here. It takes two to address this issue.

@The fact is that J&K was Independent before partition of India and will achieve independence sooner or later, no matter who so ever will mediate.”
Posted by haleem11

—–Well the model for “independent J&K” is AJK–Azad Jammu and Kashmir under Pakistan control. How free is that is a question. If this is what they show as sample, what will be the real deal. No brainer!



@Pakistan,like India,has many more problems. India needs to be firm and separatists will take back seat.

–Separatists are puppets not independent, so they will not take a back seat until Pakistan does.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive

The only country whose mediation in Kashmir India can accept is Israel. Saudi Arabia is for bringing Pakistan to its senses on Afghanistan only. So Mr. Farooq is wrong when he says “New Delhi would be more comfortable with Saudi mediation than any other country,”. In fact Saudi Arabia would be one of the last countries. Israel would be first because they face the same kind of fundamentalist Islamist enemy.

Posted by Sam_Bahadur | Report as abusive

Farooq bhai can urge to Saudi Arabia, USA, or Jamaica for that matter. But its the Union Government of India that decides if they want a mediator or not and if yes, who. Even their decision is under the purview of the Parliament. And India’s foreign policy from Nehru Ji’s time has been against 3rd party mediator in Kashmir issue. So relax and watch his attemp go in vain.

Posted by KDJ | Report as abusive

The real problem with Kashmir is that outside forces, that being Pakistan have politicized and fomented the politics of Islam against India.

Pakistan does not care about freedom for anybody, let alone muslims, so long as it suits their geopolitical jousting. I see no Pakistanis cry for the plight of Uighers in China, I see no Pakistani’s cry for the plight of Buddhists that have been butchered.

It seems really funny that Pakistan, having nurtured Taliban, those nice beared men, who flog women, beat unbearded men, keep women as 9th century chattel, I believe they treat dogs and furniture better than women, it is exceptionally funny to see Pakistani’s here cry for the plight of Kashmiri’s who are being tormented and killed by the evil green Indians and that is far from the truth. We never see any Pakistani’s speaking out against the Afgan Taliban, those oppressive men who don’t want music, don’t want movies and want to keep everbody in a mental prison and their only knowledge of the world to come from one book. I think the Indians are miles above the Taliban and much better than that.

No Pakistani ever condemns the attrocious behavior of Kashmiri’s who indulge in militantism and separatism, as most Pakistani’s constantly excuse criminal behavior and confuse it for patriotism or right to self determination of some kind. The truth is, this whole Kashmiri cause has become a tool, a vessel for the Deobandi Wahhabists to make inroads into the Indian subcontinent, this evil creed has a score to settle with Indians and they won’t stop until they feel that they have regained the oppressive power and control that their invading Moghul forfathers had.

Unfortunately, this is the undertone that fuels the entire Kashmiri mess.

It is a pity that Pakistan does not feel the same pity towards peaceful, unarmed Tibetan monks in robes who get beaten maimed and killed for a truly peaceful cause. Indians are not trying to destroy Kashmiri culture, in fact India is inclusive of all cultures, especially Islam.

So the Islamic oppression excuse is lame and holds no ground here.

It is time that Pakistan quits Kashmir and focuses on its own backyard and its own home turf. The stench and rot there, permeates around the world.

As soon as Pakistan quits meddling in Kashmir India, the muslims there, in time, their lives will greatly improve and they are free to be muslims, to thrive like all other other Indians and reach their full potential.

Kashmiri muslims do not need meddling from pakistan or uneducated firebrand bearded fools, looking to take up a fictitiuos cause in life under the Islamic Flag.

Muslims in Indian Kashmir are faring much better than muslims in PoK. Nothing else needs to be said.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive