Lack of a National Strategy hurts the KRG’s future

Kamal Chomani

By Kamal Chomani:

In the October 17 Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) ministers meeting, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani rejected criticism by opposition parties and journalists for his not having a national strategy to deal with the political conflicts in the region. The question is: Do we have a national strategy in the interest of the Kurds in the region? And are the regional policies of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) serving Kurds and Kurdish movements in the other parts of Kurdistan?

At the recent AKP congress in Turkey, KDP leader Masoud Barzani whole heartedly praised the AKP’s policies in government and asked all Kurds to support the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s initiatives. Afterwards, at the BDP congress, PUK politburo member Mulla Bakhtiyar harshly criticized Turkey’s policies on the Kurdish question, asked Turkey to stop calling the PKK ‘terrorists’ and called for Mr Ocalan’s freedom.

The two ruling parties in the KRG, the KDP and the PUK, are leading Kurdish politics without paying attention to any other parties and groups or criticisms by the media and public.

The KDP has very good ties with Turkey and the winner of these relations is Turkey. It has controlled the markets of Kurdistan. Hundreds of Turkish firms are operating in Kurdistan. Thousands of Turkish workers are working in Kurdistan and getting double the wages of Kurdish workers.

Meantime, the PUK has good relations with Maliki and Iran. Again, this can hurt the Kurdish future in the region. Iraq Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki is invigorating and trying to strengthen the center which can harm the future of the KRG as a federal region. Being totally with Al-Maliki’s policies will ultimately hurt the Kurdistan territories which have not been under Kurdish rule so far.

Since Al-Hashimi’s problem at the end of last year, Barzani and Talabani have had completely different views on dealing with the internal and regional issues.

In their latest meeting last week, as revealed by Awene Weekly, Barzani refused Talabani’s proposals that he return the draft of the constitution to parliament for amendment and also meet with Al-Maliki to solve the conflicts.

Here we are: the KDP doesn’t accept what the PUK wants and the PUK doesn’t accept what the KDP wants. Both sides, although they have a so-called Strategic Agreement, are almost on different planets in terms of their regional policies.

It is good to question: What’s our national strategy? And what’s our regional policy?

If you ask Prime Minister Barzani the above two questions, he answers in a very clichéd way that’s his way.

The KRG doesn’t have any regional or national policies or strategies. What the KRG has is: a KDP regional and ‘national’ strategy which is in the interests of Turkey; and a PUK regional and ‘national’ strategy which is in interest of Iran and the Al-Maliki government.

The recent Awene interview with Murat Karayilan, the PKK leader, and the last summit meeting of the three opposition leaders had something different in hand. They underscored being neutral in the regional and internal conflicts and asked for a national strategy which should be in the interests of the Kurds.

The regional maps are going to be reshaped. If Kurds in all parts do not agree on a national strategy, they will come out of the game with empty hands.

The KRG is an essential player in the reshaping of the political maps in the region, in particular in Syria. But it cannot continue its important role with the current domestic crises. Therefore the KRG should work on two paths: first to make radical reforms in the political, economic and all other fields; and second to have a regional Kurdish policy, which must be structured by all the Kurdish parties inside the KRG and other parts of Kurdistan.

Copyright © 2012

One Response to Lack of a National Strategy hurts the KRG’s future
  1. kuvan
    October 19, 2012 | 16:45

    At this point KRG as a part of Iraq and international can not make uniliterlal polices that would only benefit kurdish poeple and due to the unstable polices of the naghbouring countries , it has to constantly shift thier polices and adjust them with accord to the polices of the naghbouring countries so that it does not come into clash and conflics with them .Considering the fact that KRG is constantly being subjected to pressure and bullying work with accord of the polices of they nagbouring countries ,In my opinion KRG is playing a very clever politcs inorder to survive and protcet what they have achived for kurds past 2 dacades. they can only make an economical national stratgy and work towards improving the life standards kurdish poeple other than that there is not mcuch spao make a political national stratgy at least for now.

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