Iraqi bud­get and sovereignty

The Kurdish Globe - - EDITORIAL - Azad Amin

The Iraqi bud­get was passed de­spite a Kur­dish boy­cott and fierce op­po­si­tion from Kur­dis­tan rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the Iraqi par­lia­ment. All the ob­jec­tions of the Kurds with re­gards to the draft­ing of the bud­get had not been taken into con­sid­er­a­tion. The Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Government (KRG) in a state­ment is­sued on March 9th, rightly ac­cused that the ar­ti­cles in the Iraqi Fed­eral Bud­get passed by Par­lia­ment did not serve the in­ter­ests of the peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan. It con­sid­ered the bud­get un­fair to the peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan and that it op­posed the pro­grams and in­ter­ests of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.

The state­ment fur­ther added that the Kur­dis­tan government re­jects many of the bud­get's ar­ti­cles, point­ing out that its sug­ges­tions in the com­po­si­tion of the Bud­get were ig­nored and with the ef­fec­tive by-pass­ing of the Kurds in par­lia­ment, the prin­ci­ple of har­mony and gen­uine part­ner­ship had been shat­tered. It high­lighted that the bud­get did not take into con­sid­er­a­tion the achieve­ments of the Kur­dis­tan re­gion, as well as it did not take into ac­count the Re­gion’s sov­er­eign ex­pen­di­tures, the Kur­dish armed forces (Pesh­merga), devel­op­ment of prov­inces and the Petrodol­lar, in ad­di­tion to out­stand­ing pay­ments ac­crued to oil com­pa­nies.

The state­ment con­cluded that the aim was to un­der­mine the sta­tus of the Kurds, be­ing ma­jor com­po­nents of Iraq and de­grad­ing their nat­u­ral and con­sti­tu­tional rights, as­sert­ing that the Re­gion will take a firm stand in the coming days af­ter meet­ing with of­fi­cials in Bagh­dad.

The Iraq cab­i­net ap­proved the 138-tril­lion-Iraqi-di­nar ($118.5 bil­lion) bud­get in last Oc­to­ber, but dif­fer­ences be­tween the Shi'ite, Sunni and Kur­dish fac­tions re­peat­edly thwarted at­tempts to pass the draft leg­is­la­tion in par­lia­ment.

MP Rawaz Khosh­naw, a Kur­dish MP in Bagh­dad, stated that "we didn't at­tend the meet­ing; none of our de­mands were in­cluded in the bud­get. This is a very dan­ger­ous and alarming sign of what's coming in Iraq".

The griev­ance against the man­ner the bud­get passed was not only raised by the Kurds, but a num­ber of alIraqiya MP’s. Jaber al-Jaberi, a law­maker from the Iraqiya Bloc, be­moaned the in­jus­tice done to the Kurds, “To­day we laid the foun­da­tion stone in the project of di­vid­ing Iraq, be­cause to ig­nore one's part­ner and not lis­ten to his de­mands will push him to seek other op­tions.”

The Arab rulers in Bagh­dad once again clearly demon­strated that they do not have any vi­sion of a demo­cratic, plu­ral and fed­eral Iraq based on the virtues of equal­ity for all its com­po­nents. They do not con­ceal their view of the Kurds as sec­ond class ci­ti­zens and force the Kurds to con- tend with­out any sov­er­eign rights in Iraq.

Bagh­dad does not re­spect the sov­er­eign rights of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and at­tempts to di­min­ish the sta­tus and strength of the KRG. Bagh­dad does not re­spect the Iraqi con­sti­tu­tion which the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of the Iraqi peo­ple voted for.

The ac­tions taken by the Arab rulers in Bagh­dad once again prove that any be­lief in a new demo­cratic, plu­ral and just Iraq is merely an il­lu­sion with­out any foun­da­tion. The Kurds do not have their right place in Iraq and will not ever have it.

The Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal ac­tors should re­al­ize that the in­jus­tice done through the pass­ing of the bud­get is not solely lim­ited to dis­agree­ment over money is­sues but also rep­re­sents the will of Bagh­dad to deny the sov­er­eign rights of the Kurds. If Bagh­dad de­nies the sov­er­eign rights of the Kurds in Iraq then there is only one op­tion for Kurds and that is out­right in­de­pen­dence. Sep­a­ra­tion from Iraq and es­tab­lish­ment of an in­de­pen- dent Kur­dis­tan be­comes the only avail­able op­tion for the Kurds. The Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal ac­tors should not de­vi­ate and shy away from this his­tor­i­cal task any longer.

The Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal ac­tors must re­al­ize that in­ten­si­fied re­gional and global hege­monic strug­gles over the Mid­dle East leave only two op­tions for the Kurds: ei­ther to pur­sue an in­de­pen­dent Kur­dis­tan or be sat­is­fied with their ex­ist­ing op­pressed sta­tus.

The Kurds can­not sit and wait for oth­ers to per­mit their in­de­pen­dence and present it to them. It must be fought for. The con­di­tions of to­day pro­vide unique op­por­tu­ni­ties for the Kurds that this time will not prove fruit­less. The colo­nial foun­da­tion blocks of the Mid­dle East have been shat­tered, and in the process of the re­con­struc­tion of a new Mid­dle East, an in­de­pen­dent Kur­dis­tan is a must. Whether the Kurds can seize the moment de­pends on them but Bagh­dad un­in­ten­tion­ally forces the Kurds to take those steps.

A view of the Iraqi Coun­cil of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives (Par­lia­ment) hall.

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