Kurdistan Independence: A threat or a right?

By Kawa Ahmad

Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani. Photo: KRP

March 22, 2012

A threat or a right?

On March 21, 2012, state-run Iranian PRESSTV channel posted an article on its website under the caption of "Iraqi Kurdistan threatens to declare independence".

According to AFP, Kurdistan Regional Government President KRG Barzani has characterized the current national unity government in Baghdad as “ utterly non-existent and meaningless”.

The author has repeated utilized the word "threat". "Diplomats regard the dispute as one of the greatest threats to Iraq's long-term stability" is an example.

Before venting any views on the subject matter, I deem it extremely necessary to remind the author that his article’s heading should be first rectified. Barzani does not require to threaten to declare Kurdish independence. Independence is our legitimate and inherent right and we, as a nation with a distinct language, culture, religious belief and ethnicity, reserve every right to hold a referendum and determine our own political destiny. We are no less than the Iranians, 7 Turkish-speaking states or 22 Arabs countries in the region. Self-determination is the right of every nation, including the 40 million stateless Kurds!

Secondly, there are no motives for Kurds to continue offering sacrifices in a bid to preserve the territorial integrity and sovereignty of a contrived nation and country. It has been ten years since Kurds have been fruitlessly struggling to squarely mediate among sectarian Shiites and Sunnies groups to resolve their incessant discrepancies. Kurds have set aside their own vital agendas for the sake of other uncompromising Iraqi constituencies.

As far incorporation of Kurdish Kirkuk city into KRG is concerned, Kirkuk's dilemmas should be resolved in accordance with the agreed upon constitutional provisions. Should any party attempt to dishonor its part of commitment,
KRG reserves every right to take unilateral action or decision. President Barzani has been prodding hard for peace and dialogue.

Barzanis observations reflect the aspiration of the 99% of Kurdish population in South Kurdistan. Had he acted as per his people will, Kurdistan should have been detached from Iraq back in 2003.

When it comes to securing Kurdish national interests, even the opposition in Kurdistan has a united voice and stance. Nawshirwan Mustafa has mentioned earlier that formation of any independent Kurdish state can only be achieved through national cohesion, a united army and an all-inclusive parliament.

Let's hope president's proclamation is not just rhetoric or media hype.