A street vendor in Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital, sold hundreds of framed portraits of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in the last one week.

Kashmiri separatists and many residents are all praise for Gaddafi after his maiden address to the U.N. General Assembly last week in which he said Kashmir should be an “independent state.”

It was a diplomatic embarrassment for India but has Gaddafi’s U.N. speech actually won him an enthusiastic fan base in strife-weary Kashmir where Muslim militants are fighting New Delhi’s rule since 1989.

The Libyan leader told the U.N. General Assembly last week that Kashmir should be an independent state, not Indian, not Pakistani.

Last week, dozens of Kashmiris carried placards reading “Gaddafi The Lion of Desert II” referring to the 1981 Hollywood movie “Lion of the Desert”, which is about Omar Mukhtar, who led the rebellion against Italian rule in Libya and was captured and hanged in 1931.