By: Ghafour Makhmouri
Twenty first century is a change century; many oppressed nations have achieved their dreams through these changes. We as Kurds should get benefit from the changes, especially in such a time that the entire Middle East is in a very fragile situation and many new changes and possibilities are expected. Kurds should think about their national interest and be ready for the changes and possibilities. Kurds should work for national unity in order to prove their existence in the area and step out towards a bright future as well as to achieve their legitimate rights. The main factor for achieving our dreams is unity.
Undoubtedly, it’s the age of freedom for oppressed nations under the occupation and dictatorship. Dissolving former Soviet Union in the last century gave many nationsan opportunity to declare their independence and have their own national state. At the current century, revolution and uprising of the Arab nations have started against oppression, injustice and dictatorship from Africa and reached our territories, this will have its own influence on the strife of the oppressed nations.
Kurdistan National Liberation Movementat the level of great Kurdistan can take benefit from these changes and opportunities. We should step up towards Kurdish freedom and independence; we need a common national idea for this. Having that at the level of great Kurdistan is a historical and essential need. Holding a national congress with the participation of all the political parties from all parts of Kurdistan, representatives of civil society organizations, Kurdish people from diaspora and other patriotic Kurdish people is the best national effort. In this congress the situation of Kurds from the middle east and Kurds from Lebanon, Jordan and other places should be taken in to consideration and have their own representative from the congress.
They are our brothers, sisters and relatives. It’s also necessary good to invite independent national persons, especially Dr. Jamal Nabaz, Dr. Jawad Mulla and all others who fight for Kurdish unity. It’s also necessary to have representatives from other ethnicities who live in Kurdistan; as they are citizens living with us.
Holding a national congress and Kurdish preparation and drafting national strategy for Kurdish national liberation movements areurgent needs at this stage for the Kurds. The meeting of the political parties from all parts of Kurdistan on 22 July 2013 that was arranged and requested by MasoudBarzani, president of Kurdistan, was a milestone of such a national unity. Meanwhile it was a historical and ideal event in the Kurdish history. It was the first time to hold such a meeting at this high level and on the Kurdish soil to meet and decide on holding a national congress. After a long waiting, Kurds look at the national congress with hope to fulfill their dreams. Strategic and current aims of the national congress should be clarified at the national level.
Kurdish Current Aspirations at the National Level
In the sensitive and fragile situation that Kurdish national liberation movement is ongoing through; each part of Kurdistan should have its own agenda and know their demands. Undoubtedly achieving current aims is a step forward towards achieving strategic aims. So Kurds need to work for the achieving current aims carefully. We believe that Kurds should work for each part of Kurdistan as stated below:
Northern Kurdistan: Peace process exists on the northern Kurdistan that we are all should support it. We should look at it as if the success of peace process in the northern Kurdistan pushes Kurds question forward at the level of great Kurdistan, in the same time it’s a factor of fixing peace in the Middle East. Despite Kurdish efforts for the success of peace process in the northern Kurdistan, Turkey is always creating obstacles and calls for war under different pretexts. We have to have one common discourse and let international and regional entities to be aware of it.
Kurdish strive in the northern Kurdistan steps forward on political and social level each day. We should support them by all means.
Western Kurdistan: Western part of Kurdistan is in a very critical and sensitive situation, we should help them in the following ways:
First: Working to stop ongoing blood shedding of our brothers in the western Kurdistan.
Second: All other parts of Kurdistan should provide help and assistance for the Kurds in the western Kurdistan.
Third: Forming a national committee for solving the conflicts and problems among the political parties, and achieving national agreement.
Fourth: Supporting administrative cantons in the western Kurdistan and trying to achieve the international recognition.
Eastern Kurdistan: We should work together to bring all political parties from the eastern Kurdistan together and forming one strong front in order to have better influence on the political ground. Also we need to support them to find a way for the progress of their struggle in this part of our country, as well as opening a gate for peace process to achieve legitimate rights for the Kurds in the eastern Kurdistan.
Southern Kurdistan: There is a Kurdish authority in the southern Kurdistan that is the hope for all Kurds. Kurds should support this authority on the national level. We are all should work for the preserving and progressing all the entities of the southern Kurdistan.
Despite its progress, there are attempts to create problems for southern Kurdistan by many parties. Iraqi government threats in a hand, fighting against ISIS terrorist group on the other hand has put southern Kurdistan in a difficult situation. Regional countries pressure and internal disputes also cause many crises for southern Kurdistan. A national dialogue is needed for solving the problems as well as bringing all the different parties together.
Kurds from Middle Asia: A big number of Kurds living in the countries of former Soviet Union and Middle Asia. We should support our brothers and sisters there and help them to protect their national identity as well as developing Kurdish language and culture among Kurds from Middle Asia. We should support all the cultural and artistic centers for this purpose.
Kurds from Lebanon and Jordan: There are a reasonable number of Kurds living among Lebanon and Jordan community. There are some other Kurds also living in Egypt and Palestine. We should consider them as our brother and sisters, and help them to protect their national identity as well as language and culture. Supporting their civil and cultural activities is our duty.
Kurdish Community in Diaspora: There are a big number of Kurds living in different countries of the world. They can be considered as Kurdish lobby. Kurdish lobby outside is not organized, so it’s very important to work for establishing a strong national lobby. If there is a unified and strong Kurdish lobby outside working, they can have great influence on sending Kurdish message to the superpowers channels of the world.
Kurdish Strategic Aspirations on the National Level
Undoubtedly, achieving our current objectives is a step towards achieving our strategic ones. For this, all types of the efforts, moral and material, should be exerted to achieve these strategic goals. This should reflect in all our activities, and should be put above all other interests. Hence, a National Congress is necessary to set the road map for achieving these strategic objectives which should be the agenda for our national struggle. Thus, we have to pinpoint our strategic goals in several points. Strategically, we have to work on the following:
1. Drafting a Unified National Strategy for the Great Kurdistan.
2. Drafting a (National Treaty)
3. Delivering a Message of Peace.
4. Establishing a (National Council) or (National Decision Centre)
5. Selecting a Kurdish National Leader.
Drafting (National Treaty) is necessary. Since one of the major faults of Kurds is intolerance towards one another, drafting a national treaty in a national congress is important so that the national frames would be indicated where all parties should pledge to comply with it. The fundamental point in that treaty should be prohibiting and incriminating any Kurdish civil wars; and that any Kurdish armed conflict with another Kurdish party should be recognized as a big treason. Besides, this national treaty should include articles where Kurdistan political parties should pledge not to resort to arms to settle their disputes. Rather, they should settle any differences through dialogue. We believe that holding such a National Congress would be the first step for the Kurdish political parties towards accepting ending this long-lasting disease of Kurdish intolerance and other unwanted disputes, because when people stay away from each other and communicate only through the third party; it is most likely that they receive wrong messages. This is true to Kurdish parties. But if there is an umbrella body where all those parties gather, meet, and argue; the gap will gradually narrow down, the doubt will diminish and the national concerns will overcome other disputes towards tolerance and accepting one another.
A Message of Peace
We live in the age of dialogue and mutual understanding. Most of the world’s unresolved disputes have been settled through dialogue and mutual understanding. For us, Kurds, it is crucial that in the afore-mentioned Congress, we convey (a Message of Peace) to all. As always, we Kurds should tell the regional countries and the international community that we want to talk and continue in our struggle in the language of peace and dialogue. With this, the Kurdish cause will be more valued and respected by the regional and international community. It also strengthens the Kurdish stance among the regional and international political equations. It is a message for the international community that we Kurds are ready and can help to create and preserve the peace and stability that the international community is seeking in the Middle East. Apart from peace with our neighboring countries and neighboring nations, we need internal peace too. This will be a major factor in unifying the Kurdish domestic issues once and for all. Therefore, we all have to set aside our political differences, and, instead of being partisans, let’s be Kurds first and foremost, working towards the Congress.
To follow up and implement the decisions and the recommendations of the Congress, as well as taking national decisions on the level of the Greater Kurdistan, the Congress should select a permanent joint task committee with several duties and responsibilities. This permanent committee could be defined as (National Council) or (National Decision Centre) to decide on the key national decisions. Obviously, this will build optimism, strength and certainty among the Kurds, while at the same time; it will unify the Kurdish political discourse, making it a strong unified national discourse.
One of the major obstacles of the Kurds being a Stateless nation is their dividedness and internal disputes. Currently, Kurds are the largest Stateless nation in the Middle East. Therefore, we have to elect a national Kurdish leader in the National Congress in order to unify the discourse, decisions and leadership; a leadership that could lead the Kurdish national liberation movement. For this, we need a strong national charismatic and patriotic figure with national, regional and international fame and prestige, a figure that can influence the international stance. A national leader means a national symbol that which we as Kurds need most in this critical time. The National Congress should authorize the elected national leader so that he can take sound decisions on the consequential national issues, but in consultation with the National Decision Centre. This will be a strong factor towards the unification and integration of Kurds, because this will grant the Kurds with a national aspirations and power. Moreover, this will consolidate the Kurds on the regional and international level, as the Kurdish cause will take other dimensions forward. Thus, it is crucial that the political parties of the Greater Kurdistan look at this national issue with full potential and a farsighted vision, and to refrain from their narrow partisan outlook, hoping to focus on this fundamental issue and work for it.
Kurdish Loyalty, not Partisan interests, will make the National Congress a Success
To implement the above-mentioned agenda, altogether we should avoid partisan conflicts and work for our national and patriotic interests in such a way that we make party a means and a factor for implementing this national duty. The current critical circumstances in Kurdistan Region and in the Region as a whole require us to work for our loyal Kurdish aspirations, not for our partisan interests. If we base our agenda on this national principle and work for it on both levels, that is, on the national level and on the level of the Greater Kurdistan, making this a roadmap for our long road of struggle; we will surely head towards a brighter and prosperous future and closer to success.
Obviously, holding a National Congress during this phase of the Kurdistan strife will be a turning point in the Kurdistan National Liberation Movement, as it will develop the Kurdish cause on national, regional and international levels. Meanwhile, this will empower and encourage the Kurdish struggle in the other parts of Kurdistan. Thus, such national and patriotic mission should be accomplished at the earliest convenience, not to be delayed anymore; otherwise, the delay will harm the righteous Kurdish cause.
We as the National Democratic Union of Kurdistan (YNDK) have long been working for organizing this National Congress, as we have included in our agenda. Therefore, we hereby express our full potential and support for organizing and holding this National Congress as soon as possible. We would not agree this to be delayed anymore; because having this great event in place at this time is both a great factor for unifying the Kurds and a step towards Kurdish freedom and an independent Kurdistan.
To accomplish our mission and achieve our dreams, it is mandatory that we as Kurds unify our political discourse and face the current challenges with a new national strategy and vision, because the international arena is currently providing a better chance for our struggle and strife than any other time in the past. Most of the world countries have recently changed their outlook on the Kurdish cause, seeing it as a key political issue. Accordingly, we as Kurds should take our national interest into consideration, benefit from the current circumstances so that we will get freedom and independence and fulfill our national long-lasting dreams of declaring freedom and establishing a Kurdistan State.