The KRG strives to turn Hal­abja prov­ince

Chang­ing ge­o­graph­i­cal map of the prov­inces is a sov­er­eign is­sue and it needs the Iraqi fed­eral gov­ern­ment ap­proval, Ac­cord­ing to the con­sti­tu­tion.

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG) is pre­par­ing a project to turn the city of Hal­abja a prov­ince. But the Iraqi fed­eral gov­ern­ment is the only party which has the au­thor­ity to even­tu­ally ap­prove such a project. The res­i­dents of the city have been di­vided over two fronts, one supports the idea and the other says as the Kur­dish pro­vin­cial, par­lia­men­tary and pres­i­den­tial elec­tions are ap­proach­ing the po­lit­i­cal par­ties use it for their own po­lit­i­cal pro­pa­ganda.

The KRG’s cab­i­net held a min­is­te­rial ses­sion on June 4 in Er­bil, the cap­i­tal of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, and they con­sid­er­ably dis­cussed the is­sue of turn­ing the city to a prov­ince. The cab­i­net formed a com­mit­tee, to fol­low up the project, which in­cluded the KRG’s Min­is­ters of In­te­rior, Jus­tice, Plan­ning, Gov­er­nor of Su­laimani and Deputy to Head of Min­is­te­rial of­fice. The com­mit­tee should pave the way for the le­gal pro­ce­dures and to point out the ex­pected bor­der of Hal­abja.

Ac­cord­ing to the project the dis­trict of Hal­abja, Shara­zoor, Sayed Sadiq and Pen­jwen will be in­cluded in the prov­ince bor­der.

Part of Hal­abja res­i­dents ex­pressed their hap­pi­ness af­ter they heard about the news. They said by turn­ing the city to a prov­ince the res­i­dents will take the most ben­e­fit.

Aras Abid, Deputy to the Head of Hal­abja Chem­i­cal At­tack Vic­tims Group, told Kur­dish me­dia out­lets that im­ple­ment­ing of the project is very im­por­tant. He added the gov­ern­ment has made a great ef­fort if it is not for the po­lit­i­cal pur­pose.

On the other hand, some res­i­dents claim that the de­ci­sion is just an elec­tion pro­pa­ganda by which the rul­ing par­ties at­tempt to gain more votes in the up­com­ing elec­tions. Parts of the mem­bers of Su­laimani pro­vin­cial coun­cil be­lieve that turn­ing Hal­abja to a prov­ince will neg­a­tively af­fect the trad­ing flow in the prov­ince ul­ti­mately.

The KRG had de­cided sev­eral times be­fore to take the le­gal and ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures to turn the city a prov­ince but they all failed at the end. A mem­ber of Su­laimani’s pro­vin­cial coun­cil says that ful­fill­ing the de­ci­sion means di­vid­ing Su­laimani into smaller parts be­cause Garmiyan and Ra­parin ad­min­is­tra- tions were al­ready cut off from the prov­inces’ body.

Fed­eral gov­ern­ment

ap­proval

Ex­cept the KRG and Par­lia­ment’s de­ci­sion, turn­ing Hal­abja a prov­ince needs the Iraqi fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s ap­proval too. Chang­ing ge­o­graph­i­cal map of the coun­try is a sov­er­eign sub­ject and the only party which can de­cide on it is the Iraqi gov­ern­ment, ac­cord­ing to Iraq’s con­sti­tu­tion. Now Iraq has 18 prov­inces and Hal­abja will be­come the 19th if the de­ci­sion ful­filled.

Hal­abja’s in­fra­struc­ture

Hal­abja has a large fer­tile agri­cul­tural area, tourist at­trac­tions, hav­ing a bor­der with the neigh­bor­ing Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran and many fruit gar­dens.

The KRG in co­op­er­a­tion with Iraqi gov­ern­ment can open an of­fi­cial cross­ing bor­der in Hal­abja as well as they can call on the in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic com­pa­nies to in­vest their cap­i­tal there be­cause the dis­trict of Shara­zoor has one of the most fer­tile lands across Iraq.

peo­ple walk nearby the mon­u­ment of Hal­abja city.

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