The Declaration of Independence of the Kurdish State
The recent developments in Iraq and the uprising of the Sunnis and the dissatisfaction of the Arab tribes regarding the unjust policies of Maliki’s government in Bagdad which is characterized by unilateralism, tyranny and marginalization of Iraqi components made the Iraqi army to feel hopeless to continue fighting and defending parts of the country. The army and all the government’s offices retreated from Mosul and handed over their positions the Kurdistan Peshmarga forces. The residents of those areas called on Peshmerga and the KRG’s to help hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled to Kurdistan.
Following the exclusion of the Kurd’s from the political decision in Bagdad by Maliki and Jaafari’s governments, we’ve today reached this historic chance which is a golden chance for the Kurdish nation and the leadership that can only be repeated once in two hundred years. All the Kurdistani areas including the international frontiers are under the control of the Peshmerga forces and the Kurdistan Region Government, which is what people of these areas demanded. There’s no need for any local or international party to put these areas under their protection or responsibilities.
The Kurds in Iraq should seize this opportunity. Those areas should have been returned to the Kurdistan Region according to the constitutional, but the Federal Iraqi Governments were breaching its promises and deceiving the Kurdish people after the fall of the dictatorship.
A historic lesson should be learnt from the political interaction with Bagdad. Now a political and legal framework should be prepared by the Kurdistan Parliament as soon as possible for those areas which have been waiting so long to rejoin Kurdistan.
It’s obvious that the Kurds took part in the liberation of Iraq and reestablishing the new state. While those who are ruling Bagdad now had nothing to do with politics and were actually busy trading and making a living in the neighboring countries of Iraq. But now they’ve become rulers over people of Iraq.
The role and support of the Kurdish leadership, especially President Masoud Barzani's and Jalal Talabani's have always been of benefit to the Iraqi people, the democratic system and the peace process. We tried a lot to recover Iraq as a state, and to make the economy, security, the political administration to serve the Iraqi people so that they can live happily. We tried to encourage all the components of Iraq to reach a political resolution in accordance with the Iraqi constitution, but they seemed not to be honest and their uncompromising stances cannot possibly change.
The Kurds in Iraq have always been a part of the solution, not the problem. The political leadership and the KRG have always intended to transfer the Region’s model to Bagdad, but unfortunately the response of the military rulers in the Green Zone has not been positive. That is why the Kurds should say farewell to Bagdad forever.
After the liberation of Iraq, the Kurds participated in power-sharing government in Baghdad, but their participation was undermined, they were not given any real authority. We as Kurds, our cases, demands and rights have been downgraded, our victims are downgraded, salaries and people’s rights are cut, and none of the Iraqi officials were truthful towards the Iraqi Kurds. The Federal Government has not been serious in negotiations and the Kurdistan Region has been treated like a province; The Iraqi government has refused to implement the Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution; it has cut the civil servant salaries; the Oil Ministry is busy playing games and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces has failed in performing the duties lie on his shoulders. All the bad stances from the Arab political leaders in Baghdad should convince the Kurds that they have no future within Iraq. We will not be given a chance to practice actual power. We won't be able to teach the politicians in Baghdad lessons in democracy, compromise and the policy of coexistence. The Kurdish leadership, the Kurdish Parliament and the Kurdistan Region Presidency have to take a historic decision as soon as possible to set mechanisms to a peaceful withdrawal from Iraq. The Kurdistan Region President and the Kurdish National Movement leader Mr. Masoud Barzani must declare Kurdistan independent in the Kurdish Parliament. The Kurds have failed in Baghdad or the rulers of Baghdad misled us to failure. It’s better for the Kurds to draw its borders and administer its own state. Kurdistan has its own sources of a robust economy that includes trade, agriculture, tourism and natural resources, but first we need to revive some sectors neglected for years.
The European countries together with the international organizations are supporting this step. I have always known the United States as an immoral power. In this world, there are other powers that Kurdistan has not been dealing with much like Europe, Russia, Africa, and the Scandinavian countries. They can assist us in times of hardship. We even share cultures with these friendly countries and they are closer to us on the map. Now in Turkey there is a government whose interest converges with ours. This facilitates the realization of our long-awaited dream of independence.
The Kurds should work seriously on the direction of institutionalizing the government administration in Kurdistan by taking advantage of skilled and well qualified people. Also we should take advantage of the Kurdish Diaspora to create a bridge for their participating, introducing the Kurdistan Region to the world and opening a new page in the history of the Kurdish nation.
The Kurdish people now have many friends in the world. We should not only look at Washington. There are other countries and powers which can help us to build a nation state of our own.
I think that after the declaration of Kurdistan as independent, the political leadership and the government should seriously deal with the various components that live in Kurdistan, especially the Turkmen. As we know, as the severed or the disputed areas conjoin the Kurdistan Region, there are other ethnicities and components beside the Kurds whose loyalties have not been settled. We have to try to win both the Arabs and the Turkmen over. These groups have been living with the Kurds for years and have mixed with one another. The KRG should have a special mechanism to grant the Turkmen their political, social and cultural rights in Kurdistan. They, like the Kurds, have been deprived of their rights for years and waited so long. After the Kurds, Turkomen will be the second ethnic group in the state of Kurdistan.
Today is a historic opportunity for the Kurds to declare their independent state, to remain on its territory and soil and protect its existence and future without causing any headache to the nations in the area. History will not return. Handing over the Kurdistan areas to Iraq once again is a step backward, returning to the starting point; it’s a waste of time and continuation of the suffering of the people of Kurdistan and the burial of their rights to freedom and peace.
Working towards the declaration of Kurdistan independent should be in a manner that’s a model to other nations and countries of Middle East, a model for coexistence of all components and the establishment of social peace. The leadership of Kurdistan should work to reconcile all the disagreements between the political parties. All of them should cooperate and be united, forget their bitter past. If a party thinks that a certain political party hasn’t gained enough for the Kurds people and that’s why it doesn’t tolerate it, now it's high time to set aside these differences and instead mobilize all our efforts to realize the dream of our beloved independent Kurdistan.
Now the Kurds are at a crossroads and an important historic juncture. This can determine our existence or nonexistence. Anyhow, I believe it’s time to declare Kurdistan independent and step into a glorious future.