Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 19 Apr 2013 23:19

Syrian Kurds fear increasing attacks
Bombings of Kurdish areas in Syria suggest that Syrian Kurds, long detached from the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, are increasingly being targeted by his forces after they struck deals with rebels fighting to topple him, a Kurdish leader said.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby gunjur » 17 Feb 2014 22:12

Syria's Kurds wanted self-rule out of Geneva II

Kurds with other ethnic minorities announced amid the mayhem in Syria and on the eve of the Geneva II peace conference, the formation of three self-rule governments under the banner of “Democratic Autonomy” without an international approval.

The move is expected to further shift balance of power in Syria and is considered a historic turning point impacting regional politics in relation to the Kurdish national question.

The autonomy geographically divides northern Syria’s predominantly Kurdish region (Western Kurdistan) into three main constituencies: Cizire Canton, Kobane Canton and Afrin Canton.

They are commonly referred to by Kurds as, “Western Kurdistan”, or, “Rojava” (West), since the region is claimed as being part of “Greater Kurdistan”.

22 ministries, including foreign affairs, defense and justice, head each of the local canton governments.

The borders of this new predominantly Kurdish autonomous region in Syria now sweeps horizontally from the northeastern town of Derek in Cizire Canton bordering Iraq, to the westernmost Afrin Canton in Aleppo Governorate bordering Turkey.

22 ministries, including foreign affairs, defense and justice, head each of the local canton governments.

Male and female co-leaders run the council of ministers of each government with three deputies representing the local diversity.

An Assyrian woman, Elisabeth Korean, was elected co-leader of Cizire Canton and Kurdish woman Hevi Ibrahim was appointed Prime Minister of Afrin Canton.


“It is true that Kurds have led formation of the canton governments, but political representatives of the local Assyrian, Arabs and other Christian communities also make up a substantial part of the autonomy,” said Salih Muslim, co-leader of the largest pro-Kurdish party in Syria, the Democratic Union Party, better known by its Kurdish acronym, PYD.

“The ministers, led by women, gave an oath of office in Kurdish, Arabic and Assyrian, but first in their mother tongue and each used their own holy books,” Muslim said, adding, “Democratic Autonomy does not mean separatism, the people in this region of Syria have made this move to set an example for the rest of the country, persisting that we can be united and that decentralization can bring about democracy, diversity and peaceful co-existence for us all in Syria.”

15 political parties, including Kurdish and non-Kurdish, have joined the self-rule governments, the PYD, however, is believed to be the main player behind the move.

The Assyrian Unity Party (AUP) and Assyrian Women's Union (AWU) have eagerly welcomed the autonomy and soon joined the governments.

“The autonomy announced in Western Kurdistan includes everybody who lives here,” said Fathullah Hussein, spokesperson of the Kurdish Left Party in Syria (KLPS), which also advocates the autonomy and has representatives in the self-rule governments.

“This is our democracy built on diversity of Western Kurdistan and it can be likened to devolution in Europe,” he said, insisting they firmly believe that “local democratic self-rule of communities can end the civil war in Syria because decentralization is the very essence of peaceful co-existence and a guaranteed democratic future.”

The locally organised pro-Kurdish People’s Defense (Protection) Units (YPG) and Women’s Defense (Protection) Units (YPJ) act as the cantons’ official defense forces.

Kurds, Arab Muslims, Assyrians and other Christian minorities have joined the ranks of those militias renowned for having simultaneously clashed with Syria’s regular army as well as Islamist rebel groups. But for the past year they have mainly engaged in fierce clashes with Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

“The regime is fighting for survival, it is in a life or death situation elsewhere in Syria, that is why for the time being the official army prefers to ignore the Kurdish region,” said Redur Xelil, YPG General Commander.

The PYD and its allied organisations first took control of Syria’s predominantly Kurdish north back in July 2012.

International and regional powers have been reluctant since to recognise Kurdish-led autonomy in Syria and labelled the PYD as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), essentially because the PYD likewise advocates “Democratic Autonomy”, the political philosophy of imprisoned Kurdish leader and PKK founder, Abdullah Ocalan.

The U.S., Turkey and certain Syrian opposition groups have also claimed that the PYD is supportive of President Bashar al-Assad because it has refused to become part of the opposition National Coalition. But the PYD and even non-PYD figures strongly reject such claims.

Helim Yusiv, an independent and renowned Syrian Kurdish writer based in Berlin, whose novels have been translated into Arabic and German, said, “It is regrettable that the U.S., Turkey and some in the Syrian opposition, to undermine the Kurds, propagate that Syria’s Kurds and the PYD support Bashar al-Assad, when PYD was the only Syrian party that had over 2,000 of its members in Assad’s jails for alleged attempts to overthrow the regime prior to the recent revolution.”

Yusiv added, “It is also an insult to even assume that Kurds support Assad in Syria, when back in 2004, Kurds led an uprising against the regime in the city of al-Qamishli. And, during this civil war, many Kurdish men and women of the YPG and YPJ forces were killed while fighting Assad’s forces.”

Formation of the first autonomous canton government of Cizire was announced on 21 January 2014, on the eve of the Geneva II peace conference that rejected direct Kurdish representative unless Kurds agreed to become part of the opposition National Coalition.

The PYD and its allies in response rejected adherence to any resolutions Geneva II may reach. They also strongly blamed the US, France, Saudi Arabia and Turkey for blocking an independent Kurdish representation at the conference.

They described Geneva II as, “New Treaty of Lausanne”, claiming that the peace conference is another attempt by the international community to undermine the role of “democratic minorities” in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

“Geneva II conference is a failure in terms of democratic achievements for the people of Syria and the Middle East,” a joint statement by PYD and its allies claimed. “The so-called ‘peace conference’ is exactly the same as how in 1923, after the First World War, the then international allied forces divided Kurdistan to four regions with the Treaty of Lausanne and left the Kurds and other democratic minorities without a self-ruled homeland of their own.”

“Geneva II conference is a failure in terms of democratic achievements for the people of Syria"

Paris-based International relations analyst, Baqi Razwan, said, “The autonomy in Syria led by the Kurds is definitely a reply to how the international community undermined them at Geneva II conference. Kurds basically conveyed a message making clear that they would take their own destiny and continue to fight both Assad and al-Qaeda-linked forces to achieve their demands with or without an international approval.”

He added, “Kurds as well as the Christians perhaps had no choice, but to politically and practically reply to how the international community at Geneva II ignored their broadly peaceful and yet influential role in war-torn Syria.”

Although Turkey has considered the PYD as a “dangerous threat” to its sovereignty for the past two years, formation of the canton governments seems to have already impacted Turkey’s anti-Kurdish stance.

PYD co-leader, Asia Abdullah, is now in Ankara, where she attended the Turkish parliament to debate the role of Kurds in Syria.

The U.S., UK, France and Iran appear tight-lipped and are yet to make their positions clear, at least for now.


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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby gunjur » 29 May 2014 13:43

Apologies if already posted.

Kurdish Independence from Iraq: The Ball is Rolling

The Kurdistan Region appears to have set the ball rolling toward independence from Iraq.

The first signs of this emerged last week when the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced -- despite threats from Baghdad -- the sale of one million barrels of Kurdish oil that had been stored at the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

With this move Kurdish authorities in Erbil not only defied Iraq’s central government, they also ignored warnings from the United States, which has consistently stood against Kurdistan selling its oil without Baghdad’s consent.

America’s main concern is Iraq’s territorial integrity: Washington fears that economic independence would lead the Kurds toward declaring independence from Iraq and dividing the country.

These concerns notwithstanding, Kurdish leaders -- among them Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani -- have said time and again that they cannot tolerate Baghdad’s hostile actions and constant blackmail of the Kurds.

Earlier this year, Baghdad cut the autonomous region’s budget, depriving more than one million civil servants of their monthly salaries. Erbil regarded this as “a violation of the constitution, and blamed the maneuver on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

After 10 years of disagreements with Baghdad, Kurdish leaders appear to have reached a point where they believe that full independence might be the best and only solution for the country’s five million Kurds.

In Paris on Friday, Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani told his French counterpart and members of the French government that if Baghdad fails to change its current policies towards the Kurds, the Kurds “have other options on the table” to emerge from the crisis. Observers believe that “other options” is a couched reference to breaking away from Iraq.

Two weeks ago the Kurdish president had already reiterated to leaders of Kurdistan’s political parties that, if Maliki remains Iraq’s premier for a third term, the Kurds will hold a referendum on seeking independence.

Nonetheless, the Kurds are busy forming a special committee to hold talks with Iraqi groups on their participation in the next Iraqi government and parliament, following the April 30 elections.

On the other hand, the Kurdish president’s presence in Europe and the clear message he delivered in France, as well as the Kurdish prime minister’s visit to London last week, are seen by some as a campaign to seek international support for Kurdish independence.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby gunjur » 13 Jun 2014 17:04

Apologies if already posted on BRF.

Amid turmoil, Iraq’s Kurdish region is laying foundation for independent state
As security forces in northern Iraq crumble under the onslaught of Islamist militants, the autonomous Kurdistan region — a bastion of stability — is rapidly laying the groundwork to become an independent state.

Iraqi forces have continued to cede territory to an insurgency led by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is swiftly advancing toward Baghdad after capturing Mosul on Tuesday. Kurdistan’s military forces, known as the pesh merga (or “those who face death”), have taken over many of the northernmost positions abandoned by the national army, significantly expanding the zone of Kurdish control.

“As the Iraqi Army has abandoned its posts . . . Peshmerga reinforcements have been dispatched to fill their places,” Jabbar Yawar, secretary general of the Ministry of Pesh Merga Affairs, said in a statement.

The Kurds have also recently taken a big step toward economic independence by deepening a strategic alliance with the Turkish government. In late May, they began exporting oil via a pipeline through Turkey, with the revenue set to flow into a Kurdish-controlled bank account rather than the Iraqi treasury.

“This economic independence is vital for the Kurdistan region,” Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said in an address to the Kurdish parliament last month. “We will not stop here.”

Strained relations
Since the beginning of the year, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has responded to Kurdish oil ambitions by cutting the monthly distribution of the region’s share of the national budget. The Iraqi government has also filed an international arbitration claim against Turkey for facilitating the exports, which Baghdad characterizes as smuggling, and has threatened to sue anyone who buys the oil.

With relations badly strained, there is little appetite in the Kurdish capital of Irbil to provide any military support to Maliki.

“The Iraqi government has been holding the Kurds hostage, and it’s not reasonable for them to expect the Kurds to give them any help in this situation without compromising to Kurdish demands,” said an adviser to the Kurdish government, speaking on the condition of anonymity to be candid.

The pesh merga say they have not tried to displace ISIS from territory it now controls.

“In most places, we aren’t bothering them [ISIS], and they aren’t bothering us — or the civilians,” said Lt. Gen. Shaukur Zibari, a pesh merga commander.

In his statement, Yawar said, “There is no need for Peshmerga forces to move into these areas.”

The United States has tried for several years to broker agreements to bring Irbil and Baghdad closer together, but the efforts have failed because the two sides have fundamentally different visions for the country. Whereas Maliki has pushed for centralized control — especially over the oil resources that provide 95 percent of state revenue — the Kurds have insisted that the constitution grants them almost total autonomy.

The conflict has been so tense recently that Kurdish leaders have obliquely suggested that, absent concessions from Maliki, they will hold a referendum on whether to declare independence — a measure that would almost certainly pass amid an upswell of Kurdish nationalism.

“The policy of the Kurdistan Regional Government is to never take a step backward,” Barzani said in his address to parliament. “If we do not arrive at any resolutions [with Baghdad], then we have other alternatives, and we will take them.”

Tensions have also been aggravated through the years by territorial disputes. In the aftermath of Saddam Hussein’s regime, which waged campaigns of ethnic cleansing, ethnic groups have made competing claims to a belt of land stretching across the country as the formal boundary between the Kurdistan region and federal Iraq remains unresolved.

The symbolic heart of these disputes has been the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, which some have called the Jerusalem of the Kurds. On Thursday, after the national army left, Kurdish flags were flying where Iraqi flags once were, and Yawar said Kurdish forces “now control Kirkuk city and the surrounding areas.” Even Iraqi government oil facilities were now being guarded by Kurdish forces, Kurdish security officials said.

Turkish lifeline
As the Kurds try to shore up their territory, they also need an economic lifeline, and they have turned to Turkey. Last year, the landlocked Kurds built an oil pipeline to the Turkish border and signed agreements to govern the export of oil and gas to the Mediterranean; now, crude has begun to flow.

Those exports, which began May 22, were a milestone. Although the Kurds have been able to export oil for years by truck, only a pipeline can enable them to sell enough oil to replace the revenue being withheld by Baghdad.

In the meantime, the Kurdish government is staying solvent through loans from companies and foreign banks, according to Barzani. Two officials involved in the Turkey deal, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, said the Turkish government had granted a loan directly to the Kurds, but they did not disclose the amount or the terms.

Turkey’s willingness to facilitate such autonomy marks a dramatic reversal by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose administration once worried that an independent Iraqi Kurdistan might inspire Turkey’s own Kurdish minority to seek a similar outcome. Erdogan was swayed, ultimately, by a convergence of interests, particularly Turkey’s growing energy demands. Now, with the rise of ISIS, Iraqi Kurdistan also represents a geographic buffer between Turkey and the chaotic violence to the south.

“Turkey will use its influence in Irbil to discourage independence,” said one of the Turkish officials involved in the energy deal. “But if Kurdistan should become independent, then, to put it in financial terms, Turkey has bought that option.”

The question now facing the Kurds is whether they can hold the line against ISIS. The group has begun attacking some of the pesh merga’s forward positions and nearly killed the leader of the force, Sheik Jaafar Mustafa, with an IED targeting his convoy near Kirkuk, according to a pesh merga soldier stationed there.

So far, the pesh merga have been able to repel ISIS attacks, and the Kurdistan region seems to have the military capability — and the backing of a powerful neighbor — to succeed without the federal government.

Drawn to this relative stability, tens of thousands from besieged Mosul have sought refuge in the region. Among them were three top Iraqi generals; on Thursday, the Kurdish government put them on a plane to Baghdad.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Prem » 13 Jun 2014 23:43

India dont allow free import of crude in India . Only few entities are licenced to do the import. Its time crazy law to be changed so Indians can scout oil from Kurdistan and other places independent of GOI limitations.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 20 Jun 2014 01:34

X-post from W.Asia thread:

In general, though, the Kurds have exploited the situation by grabbing towns in the north - and its interesting how there's been no major confrontation between them and ISIS. The Kurdish government has fallen out with the Iraqi Government in a major way for the past few years - it has been selling oil independently of the Iraqis.

Maliki has been a failure and his policy of purging the government of non-Shia and marginalising the Sunnis has greatly helped ISIS. The vast Iraqi army, with the billions that was poured into it, fled all the towns taken in the past few days without putting up any resistance.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Prem » 22 Jun 2014 08:05

I talked to my friend in Irbil ( Dont Confuse me With Shyam Ji)and he claims that its now matter of days before KRG declare Independence from Iraq. Kurds will not only get n more territroy now but soon demographic trend will make them majority group in Turkey too. Kirkuk was already under their protection anyhow.
Game for One Iraq is over now.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 22 Jun 2014 14:02


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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Rony » 27 Jun 2014 01:12


chanakyaa
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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby chanakyaa » 27 Jun 2014 06:07

The above article read like a perfect propagunda to me. But, that's me, and I'm not a Curd. While I was thinking about, why no once is talking about taking part of Terkish land to form Curdistan...and I came across following comments to the above article (a propagunda)...

>> user writes
Nowhere in the article does Tarek suggest that Turkish Kurdistan should be added to the soon to be independent Iraqi Kurdistan.
>> author responds
Dear Fedor, I am a realist, not an ideologue. If an independent Kurdistan can emerge as a UN recognized state from the ruins of Syria and Iraq, that country will play the role of ensuring Kurdish minorities in Iran and Turkey are not treated like third rate citizens. After all there are Hungarians in Rumania and vice versa, isn't it?


then another user writes..
LOL you know nothing..this is a plan created by Turkish MIT,kurdish leader Ocalan, sunni leader Tarik Al Haşimi and FSA..Kurdistan, Musul, Halep(Aleppo) will be part of United States of Turkey next year..It has nothing to do with individual rights or self determination

Long live sweet and sour Curdistan..



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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby gunjur » 02 Jul 2014 22:15

KRG President Barzani: Kurdistan Independence Referendum in Months

A referendum to decide on independence for the autonomous Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq “is a question of months,” Kurdish President Massoud Barzani told the BBC in an interview.

“I cannot fix a date right now but it’s a question of months,” Barzani said about a referendum, adding it was up to the Kurdish parliament to decide on the date.

“I have said many times that independence is a natural right of the people of Kurdistan. All these developments (in Iraq) reaffirm that, and from now on we will not hide that the goal of Kurdistan is independence,” he told the BBC.

His words came as MPs in Baghdad opened the new session of parliament on time on Tuesday, following elections that preceded the current turmoil. But it remained in session only until the Kurdish and Sunni blocs walked out, after the Shiites failed to come up with any name to replace Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister.

Maliki, who squeezed himself into a second term and looks determined to shoehorn himself into a third, appears amazingly out of touch, as Iraq falls apart before a cocktail of bulldozing forces that include Sunni jihadis, an al-Qaeda offshoot and loyalists of Saddam Hussein’s ousted military.

Riding on the crest of a Sunni insurgency they ignited, within weeks the insurgents have crushed the Iraqi army and taken control of large sweeps of territory, including the second-largest city, Mosul, and Anbar province, the largest.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al-Qaeda offshoot fighting in both countries, has declared an Islamic State from Aleppo in Syria to Diyala in Iraq.

Barzani’s words confirmed that the division of Iraq is no longer a fear: it is happening.

"Iraq is effectively partitioned now; should we stay in this tragic situation that Iraq is living?” Barzani told the BBC. “Of course, we are all with our Arab and Sunni brothers together in this crisis, but that doesn’t mean that we will abandon our goal,” he said.

“The latest events have established that this is the solution. We can’t go back to the previous situation. We can’t experiment with our fate for another 10 years. We can’t remain hostages to an unknown future,” Barzani added.

Meanwhile, the United Nations reported that the death toll for June, in all of Iraq except Anbar province, was 2,417 people, three times more than the 799 killed in May, before the insurgents began their advance. Most of those killed in June – 1,500 – were civilians.

After Iraqi troops collapsed and retreated from the north in face of the jihadi-led advance, Kurdish Peshmerga forces moved into the oil-rich city of Kirkuk -- which the Kurds have always seen as the capital of a future homeland -- and into other disputed areas in the provinces of Nineveh and Diyala.

The three province Kurdistan Region – Erbil, Sulaimani and Duhok -- achieved autonomy from Iraq effectively in 2003.

Iraq’s five million Kurds, who suffered what is internationally being recognized as genocide under Saddam Hussein, have long yearned for an independent homeland. Until now, that dream has been opposed not only by neighboring Iran, Turkey and Syria – each with millions of minority Kurds – but by the United States as well.

The US has sent in 200 troops to secure its embassy in Baghdad, the largest in the world. But with the West unwilling to step in militarily to help Maliki, the prime minister has turned to Iran, Syria and Russia, which are reportedly providing arms troops and advisors.

Barzani said that an independent Kurdistan would be a threat to no one: “We will have the best of relations with all the neighbors and we will not be a threat to anyone at all, I’m sure.”

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby gunjur » 14 Jul 2014 20:18

Apologies if already posted

Kurdish Independence: Harder Than It Looks - By Joost Hiltermann
The jihadist blitz through northwestern Iraq has ended the fragile peace that was established after the 2007-2008 US surge. It has cast grave doubt on the basic capacity of the Iraqi army—reconstituted, trained and equipped at great expense by Washington—to control the country, and it could bring down the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose eight-year reign has been marred by mismanagement and sectarian polarization. But for Iraqi Kurds, the offensive by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and other groups has offered a dramatic opportunity: a chance to expand their own influence beyond Iraqi Kurdistan and take possession of other parts of northern Iraq they’ve long claimed as theirs.

At the heart of these “disputed areas” is the strategic city of Kirkuk, which the disciplined and highly motivated Kurdish Peshmerga took over in mid-June, after Iraqi soldiers stationed there fled in fear of advancing jihadists. A charmless city of slightly less than one million people, Kirkuk betrays little of its past as an important Ottoman garrison town. The desolate ruin of an ancient citadel, sitting on a mound overlooking the dried-out Khasa River, is one of the few hints of the city’s earlier glory. Yet Kirkuk lies on top of one of Iraq’s largest oil fields, and with its crucial location directly adjacent to the Kurdish region, the city is the prize in the Kurds’ long journey to independence, a town they call their Jerusalem. When their Peshmerga fighters easily took over a few weeks ago, there was loud rejoicing throughout the Kurdish land.

But while the Kurds believe Kirkuk’s riches give them crucial economic foundations for a sustainable independent state, the city’s ethnic heterogeneity raises serious questions about their claims to it. Not only is Kirkuk’s population—as with that of many other Iraqi cities, including Baghdad itself—deeply intermixed. The disputed status of its vast oil field also stands as a major obstacle to any attempt to divide the country’s oil revenues equitably. To anyone who advocates dividing Iraq into neat ethnic and sectarian groups, Kirkuk shows just how challenging that would be in practice.

The definitive loss of Kirkuk and the giant oil field surrounding it could precipitate the breakup of Iraq, and while the present government in Baghdad is in no position to resist Kurdish control, a restrengthened leadership might, in the future, seek to retake the city by force. For the Kurds, the sudden territorial gains may also not be the panacea they seem to think they are. The Kurdish oil industry is still much in development, and if the Kurdish region loses access to Baghdad’s annual budget allocations without a ready alternative, it is likely to face a severe economic crisis. Moreover, the same jihadist insurgency that has enabled Kurdish advances in the disputed territories is also a potent new threat to the Kurds themselves. So the taking of Kirkuk poses an urgent question: how important is Iraq’s stability to the Kurds’ own security and long-term aims?

I first visited Kirkuk some twenty-three years ago, driving from Baghdad and entering from the west. Coming up from the capital in those days one had little doubt that one was in Arab areas all the way to the outskirts of Kirkuk, while the city itself, like many urban conglomerations in the wider region, was home to many different ethnic and religious groups, none of them dominant. There were Shia mixed in with Sunnis, and along with three major ethnicities—Arab, Kurdish, and Turkic—the city contained a smaller population of Chaldo-Assyrian Christians, who claimed to be original inhabitants of what was known in ancient times as Arrapha. In fact, despite the Kurds’ strong presence in Kirkuk today, many of them were relatively late arrivals, having settled mostly in the years since the oil industry first took hold in the 1930s.

Kurdish nationalists had long made it a quest to incorporate Kirkuk into the Kurdish region. But in 1991, with Saddam Hussein still in power after the Gulf War ended, Iraqi forces reasserted control over the north, brutally crushing the Kurdish uprising. I was one of the first Western visitors to the town after these tragic events, traveling for Physicians for Human Rights. The detritus of recent conflict was everywhere: earthmovers systematically flattening a Kurdish neighborhood; dead bodies and overturned tractor carts strewn along the road to Erbil; maimed victims of landmines in a Suleimaniya hospital; a grimacing Kurdish fighter bound to something that looked like a telephone pole being carried, face down, into a Chamchamal police station.

To behold such agony, one could only feel sympathy for the Kurds. In seven decades of being Iraqis, they had never had control of their own destiny. Instead, their villages had been destroyed and their population subjected to gas attacks and mass killings amounting to genocide. In Kirkuk, successive Iraqi regimes had uprooted many Kurds and resettled Arabs from the south to supplement indigenous tribes.

Following the Gulf War, when the US enforced a no-fly zone and Baghdad withdrew its troops, the Kurdish autonomous region to the north of Kirkuk gained de facto independence (while being economically suffocated by its neighbors); after the 2003 US invasion it became a region in a federal Iraq. But Kirkuk was not part of this region, its status being left to a referendum to be carried out before the end of 2007; the inability of the federal government in Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government in Erbil to resolve their differences ensured that such a referendum never took place.

The Kurds have tried to play down the importance of Kirkuk’s oil revenues, but the city’s overriding economic value is clear. Until recently, revenue from the Kirkuk oil field (which in 2013 came to about $6 billion from the export of 180,000 barrels per day, far below the field’s potential) was the only wealth to be derived in Iraq’s north, and it landed in Baghdad’s coffers. Since 2003, foreign companies have also been busy prospecting for oil in the Kurdish region, registering major finds and thereby in theory diminishing the singular value of Kirkuk to the Kurdish government. This year, the completion of a new pipeline from Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey has allowed the Kurds to begin shipping Kurdish oil from its own fields directly to Turkey without seeking Baghdad’s approval.

Yet it remains unclear how readily this Kurdish oil can be sold in the international market, as buyers fear litigation by the national government in Baghdad. The stranded oil tanker carrying the first shipment of Kurdish crude—it has been stuck off the coast of Morocco, prevented from discharging its load—is emblematic of the difficulty a non-state entity faces in finding buyers in defiance of a sovereign state’s export policy. In the meantime, the Kurdish region’s economic boom has been financed far less by its own oil revenue than by its share in Iraq’s national budget, which derives instead from the sale of oil from the country’s vast oil fields in the south. As part of an ongoing political dispute between the central government and the Kurds, Baghdad has withheld Erbil’s budget since the beginning of this year, a situation that, if it continues, could make Kurdish authorities all the more desperate to establish their own independent revenue stream.

Until recently, the Baghdad-controlled North Oil Company piped Kirkuk’s oil westward to Baiji, then northward to the Turkish border and on to the Mediterranean. Now, with the Kirkuk oil field in the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga, the Kurds have a historic opportunity to send the city’s oil through the new pipeline to Turkey instead, thus bypassing Arab territory and therefore any sort of Arab control, whether from Baghdad or jihadist insurgents. Moreover, having seized the city, they will try to accelerate its accession to the Kurdish region by council vote and local referendum. As Falah Mustafa Bakir, the Kurds’ de facto foreign minister, declared in an interview, “the border has changed. The political reality has changed. The power balance has changed. And…Baghdad is far away.”

If the Kurds manage to find buyers for their oil and the Iraqi government remains paralyzed by sectarian war, the Kurds will be taking one giant step toward independence, with Kirkuk included in their new state. Abandoning all his customary reluctance to be called out on the statehood question, the regional president, Masoud Barzani, has now said he would like to see a referendum on Kurdish independence within months. But there are many obstacles to such a plan.

The first is the Obama administration, which does not want to see Iraq break up and could try to block further sales of Kurdish oil. The US is seeking to contain the conflict between the country’s competing ethnic and religious groups within the national borders established almost a hundred years ago. Thus Washington is now pushing for a truly inclusive power-sharing government in Baghdad that could be supported by Iran. (For this, the next prime minister would have to be a Shia Islamist, like Maliki.) If such a national compact can be reached and upheld—that holy grail of the post-2003 US enterprise in Iraq—the Kurds will have to play an essential part in it.

It is therefore more likely that, rather than making a beeline for an independence that neither the US nor Turkey seems to support, the Kurds will find themselves negotiating again in Baghdad, but this time with a significantly stronger card in their hands: their control of Kirkuk oil. As long as they are hitched to Iraq, the Kurds will demand guarantees for the timely and full delivery of the region’s annual budget allocation, the right to export and sell Kurdish oil, and Baghdad’s acquiescence to their permanent stewardship of Kirkuk and its resources. Of course, these are conditions that in and of themselves would advance their march toward independence, with their own oil-produced income gradually replacing the budget allocations derived from southern oil, and any would-be Iraqi leader who agrees to them could be committing political suicide. Negotiations toward a new government will therefore be hard and difficult.

Another obstacle to the Kurds’ quest for Kirkuk is the unresolved matter of the location of the future independent entity’s boundary. This is where oil deposits become pivotal, especially in an economy where a single commodity accounts for over 90 percent of national income (in both Iraq and the Kurdish region).

Finally, having taken over Mosul and other cities in northern Iraq, Islamist militants are facing off with the Kurds along a line the length of the Kurdish region. In Kirkuk, the jihadists are virtually at the city gates. For now, their attention is trained on the Shias in Baghdad, but this could change. Already, there have been deadly clashes near Khanaqin, in the far eastern sector of the disputed territories on the Iranian border. Other areas with a mix of population groups, such as Tuz Khurmatu, will be equally susceptible to lethal confrontations. The threat posed by these groups suggests that, for the moment, Baghdad and the Kurds need each other.

What is required—now more than ever—is an inclusive national pact, hammered out by all major Iraqi parties, including the Kurds, that would bring Sunnis back into the government, allow for Kirkuk to be shared and to retain its multicultural character, and to settle the paramount question how Iraqi hydrocarbons are to be managed and revenues distributed. The alternative could be unending conflict, however strong the Kurds may seem today.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Prem » 04 Aug 2014 23:58

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/2022c9ca ... z39S4C4A7Y

Isis advances puncture Kurdistan self-confidence

Go-it-alone experiment may not survive without help from Iraq and western and regional allies
The gunmen launched their surprise attack in the dark, approaching with a stealth and discipline honed by years of fighting in Syria. Within hours, the fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis, had routed the Kurdish peshmerga warriors guarding the northwest Iraqi towns, killing dozens and menacing the rest of Kurdistan.
"The Mujahideen conquered several areas controlled by secular Kurdish gangs and militias,” said a statement issued by Isis. “May God Almighty allow his Mujahideen to liberate the whole region.”
Iraq’s Kurds can point to tremendous accomplishments in the autonomous region they have carved out since the imposition of the w
estern no-fly zone over northern Iraq 23 years ago. They have built up the long-neglected region’s economy and infrastructure, transformed what was long a guerrilla force into a regular standing army and won international praise as they edge closer toward the full independence they crave. But in addition to puncturing the Kurds’ brash self-confidence, the fall of the towns of Sinjar, Zumar and Wana exposed the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of Iraqi Kurds’ go-it-alone strategy since Isis’ cataclysmic June 10 advance into northwestern Iraq. It should serve as a wake-up call: the Kurdistan experiment may not survive the Isis challenge without help from Baghdad and western or regional allies.Immediately after the collapse of Baghdad’s rule in parts of Iraq’s Nineveh, Salahadin, Kirkuk and Diyala provinces, Kurds surged into areas they had long coveted and held tight, engaging in occasional skirmishes with Isis, but mostly staying out of the group’s way in what many considered a de facto truce. Under the leadership of longtime Kurdish politician Masoud Barzani, they were comforted by the goodwill of the west and neighbouring Turkey and lulled into a false sense of security by the plaudits bestowed on their peshmerga in comparison with the performance of Iraqi troops.
But a different portrait of the Kurdish fighters emerged in the past few days, what analyst Emile Hokayem described on Twitter as a collection of “old fighters, few [in number], badly trained young ones” equipped with “old weaponry” and contending with “new territory to defend”.
Any hope of a truce or arrangement with Isis was quickly dashed as it became clear the group never intended to give Kurds a pass. “The Islamic State wanted to postpone the Kurdish battle, but geographically speaking and because of the escalation of events the Islamic state had to enter this battle now,” a Syria-based spokesman for the group told the Financial Times. “The Islamic State wants all its territory without borders from Iraq to the Levant.”Kurds have downplayed their losses in the northwest of Iraq, even as Isis threatened to take control of a crucial dam that controls much of the water heading toward southern Iraq. “What has happened is the fighting there continues,” said Dindar Zebari, a Kurdistan Regional Government official. “I believe the peshmerga forces are reorganising themselves and they have the support of the public. If they have made a tactical withdrawal or even were defeated that doesn’t mean it was a huge failure."
But by many accounts, the Kurds only managed to rally against Isis in the latest battle after the intervention of Syrian Kurdish fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party who crossed the non-existent border to come to the help of Iraqi brethren who had largely shunned them. The Syrian Kurds have been fighting Isis for years, and have far more battle experience against them than Iraqis.
Mr Zebari dismissed the role of the Syrian Kurds, arguing that Iraqi Kurds have been battling Islamist militants, including Isis’s Iraqi predecessors, since the 1990s. But as numerous commentators, including retired US General Robert H. Scales and Douglas Ollivant, a former US National Security Council member, have pointed out, Isis belongs to a new breed of Islamist militants that are far more intelligent, disciplined, well-trained and battle-hardened than their forebears.
For the sake of Kurdistan if not for the Iraq they appear poised to abandon, Kurdish leaders in Erbil desperately need to cultivate outside help to fend off this challenge

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Prem » 09 Sep 2014 21:40

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-new ... 62059.aspx
Kurdish regional govt seeks India's help against IS: Officials :D
(Acharya San take note)

India may make a significant change in its West Asia policy and engage with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) leadership in northern Iraq which has sought the Indian government’s help against the insurgent group ISIS, senior government officials have indicated to HT.The shift comes after a secret visit to Iraq by national security advisor Ajit Doval at the end of June when India negotiated the release of 46 Indian nurses held hostage in ISIS-controlled areas.ntelligence Bureau Director Asif Ibrahim also travelled to Riyadh at the same time for negotiations to release the nurses.For decades, India has supported a unified Iraq and avoided contact with regional factions like the KRG. But New Delhi is favourably inclined towards the KRG’s request after ISIS called for recruits from India and al Qaeda announced the creation of a branch of the militant group for the Indian subcontinent.“India has traditionally been wary of taking steps that can be seen as support for separatist elements in Iraq. But in light of the changing geo-politics of the region, we need to hedge our bets with all key players,” a senior official told HT on condition of anonymity.Documents reviewed by HT and interviews with top security officials reveal details of the support India can extend to the KRG, which will be fleshed out after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns from his US trip at the end of this month.The proposals under discussion include material and financial support for the Iraqi Kurdish group backed by quiet diplomacy.Government analysts say an independent Kurdistan is not a reality now but it may become so in the years ahead. A senior government official told HT the oil-rich Kurdish region’s stable economy is also a major factor for India.“The Kurds have moderate religious beliefs, a good economy, a stable government and a well-equipped army. We could count on them as our natural allies without abandoning our traditional policy of supporting the territorial integrity of Iraq,” the official said.Read: Iraq: ISIS massacres 500 Yazidis, US strikes onNew Delhi’s options for supporting the KRG are likely to figure in the bilateral talks between Modi and US President Barack Obama this month.According to a White House statement, the two leaders “will also focus on regional issues, including current developments in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, where India and the United States can work together with partners towards a positive outcome”.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby JE Menon » 09 Sep 2014 21:49

^^There may be an interesting role for General Ata Hasnain here

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 20 Sep 2014 10:00

It has already begun... Citing the Scot vote as an example certain other countries in the world have no excuse not to follow...

The Case for a Unified Kurdistan
I foresee a referendum in Turkey analogous to the imminent one in Scotland, in which those living in the majority-Kurdish regions vote whether to remain part of the Republic of Turkey or to secede. Such a vote would undoubtedly endorse secession.

One of the happy side-effects of Kurdish secession would be to impede the ambitions of Turkey's rogue autocratic president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. This is no small matter, inasmuch as Turkey under his leadership represents the greatest long-term threat to Western interests in the Middle East.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Muppalla » 07 Oct 2014 02:28

Regional war poses new challenges for struggle for Kurdish self-determination
A few miles from the Turkish border, the northern Syrian city of Kobanê (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic) and its predominantly Kurdish population constitutes one of the three Kurdish enclaves in north and north-east Syria. For more than two years, these have been under the control of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). These three Kurdish cantons in the north of Syria are also called Western Kurdistan or ‘Rojava’ in Kurdish.

Two weeks ago, IS launched a major coordinated offensive on Kobanê, besieging it from the east, west and south. The jihadists have modern and heavy weapons and armour, including tanks, much of it looted from the Iraqi army last June. The Kurdish militias of the YPG (People’s Protection Units, the armed units affiliated to the PYD) are mainly armed with elderly soviet guns and automatic rifles.

The Kurdish villages around Kobanê, taken over by IS’s advance in the last days, have been the scenes of new atrocities perpetrated by IS, such as summary executions of villagers. Reports indicate that over 150,000 refugees, mostly Kurds, fled to Turkey. This is the largest and fastest exodus of civilians since the Syrian conflict began.


Many accuse the Turkish regime, ruled by the AKP (Justice and Development Party), of collusion with IS. The convergence of timing between the major IS offensive on Kobanê and the recent liberation of 49 Turkish hostages has raised new suspicions of collusion between IS and the Turkish state. Whatever the details of the deal concluded between the Turkish authorities and IS, it is clear that the Turkish ruling class does not want an emboldened and politically radicalised Kurdish population on its doorstep.

A de-facto economic embargo has been imposed by Turkey over Rojava. The German magazine Spiegel reported that Turkish security officials were involved in sponsoring the 2012 attacks on Syrian Kurds by the Qaeda-linked Nursa Front and the Free Syrian Army.

Kurdish protesters trying to cross the border to assist in the defence of Kobanê have faced fierce repression from the Turkish police. “I want to go to Kobanê and fight the IS, which is right now butchering my people, but I can’t”, complained a 30-year-old Turkish-Kurd interviewed by journalists. However, hundreds of unarmed protesters have managed to cross the border fences and rushed towards the besieged city.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Muppalla » 07 Oct 2014 02:28

Regional war poses new challenges for struggle for Kurdish self-determination
A few miles from the Turkish border, the northern Syrian city of Kobanê (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic) and its predominantly Kurdish population constitutes one of the three Kurdish enclaves in north and north-east Syria. For more than two years, these have been under the control of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). These three Kurdish cantons in the north of Syria are also called Western Kurdistan or ‘Rojava’ in Kurdish.

Two weeks ago, IS launched a major coordinated offensive on Kobanê, besieging it from the east, west and south. The jihadists have modern and heavy weapons and armour, including tanks, much of it looted from the Iraqi army last June. The Kurdish militias of the YPG (People’s Protection Units, the armed units affiliated to the PYD) are mainly armed with elderly soviet guns and automatic rifles.

The Kurdish villages around Kobanê, taken over by IS’s advance in the last days, have been the scenes of new atrocities perpetrated by IS, such as summary executions of villagers. Reports indicate that over 150,000 refugees, mostly Kurds, fled to Turkey. This is the largest and fastest exodus of civilians since the Syrian conflict began.


Many accuse the Turkish regime, ruled by the AKP (Justice and Development Party), of collusion with IS. The convergence of timing between the major IS offensive on Kobanê and the recent liberation of 49 Turkish hostages has raised new suspicions of collusion between IS and the Turkish state. Whatever the details of the deal concluded between the Turkish authorities and IS, it is clear that the Turkish ruling class does not want an emboldened and politically radicalised Kurdish population on its doorstep.

A de-facto economic embargo has been imposed by Turkey over Rojava. The German magazine Spiegel reported that Turkish security officials were involved in sponsoring the 2012 attacks on Syrian Kurds by the Qaeda-linked Nursa Front and the Free Syrian Army.

Kurdish protesters trying to cross the border to assist in the defence of Kobanê have faced fierce repression from the Turkish police. “I want to go to Kobanê and fight the IS, which is right now butchering my people, but I can’t”, complained a 30-year-old Turkish-Kurd interviewed by journalists. However, hundreds of unarmed protesters have managed to cross the border fences and rushed towards the besieged city.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby vijaykarthik » 08 Oct 2014 00:23

^^ been tracking this for a few months now on a different mission... and it doesn't seem likely that their time for independence has come.

And purely from a practical perspective, it doesn't look like a great option to disturb the status quo and break the Sykes-Picot line?

the peshmerga are just about surviving and Kobane is almost being overrun and Barzani is clueless and Erdogan isn't interest din intervening because of a fright of a PKK fight back and/or US displeasure. Besides, Iran isn't for independence. Neither is Syria nor Iraq. I do wonder how it can happen in the near term.

First thing will be to exist as an entity. Once that happens, try and sustain the movement and push for independence. About 2-3 yrs ahead?

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 14 Nov 2014 08:08

India to open Consulate in Kurdistan

http://dfr.krg.org/a/d.aspx?l=12&a=44267

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Prem » 14 Nov 2014 09:29

Agnimitra wrote:India to open Consulate in Kurdistan
http://dfr.krg.org/a/d.aspx?l=12&a=44267


Finally. Heard the murmur of KRG asking for few hundreds Indian experts to help them control the terrorist activities in the neighborhood.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby RajeshA » 14 Nov 2014 15:48

Agnimitra wrote:India to open Consulate in Kurdistan

http://dfr.krg.org/a/d.aspx?l=12&a=44267


Perhaps Chabahar Port may supply not only Afghanistan but also Kurdistan. Iranians are being stupid in not using KRG to neutralize Sunni Turkey.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby vijaykarthik » 14 Nov 2014 16:20

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/world ... c=rss&_r=0

Iraq and Kurds reach deal on budget, economic front and oil

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 15 Nov 2014 11:57

RajeshA wrote:Perhaps Chabahar Port may supply not only Afghanistan but also Kurdistan. Iranians are being stupid in not using KRG to neutralize Sunni Turkey.

Iran is uncomfortable about its own Kurdish secessionists. Iran has committed an equal amount of violence on its Kurds. Sometimes they would march into Kurdish towns like Kermanshah, and shoot a pregnant woman in the town square, just to inform the locals they would show no mercy. I've heard such stories from Irani Kurdish exiles in the US.

Irani Kurdistan is like Iran's Pakhtunkhwa. The Kurds are very, very clannish and tribal. They do proudly identify themselves as an Iran-ic people, but equally firmly distinguish themselves from the Persians. They don't want to be under Persian domination. Like so many other things, Iran's language policy is also oppressive, and enforces Persianization (that, too, only the Tehran dialect) in all schools. Still, schools in Azeri-dominated East Azerbaijan province defy that law and teach in Azeri Turkish. Kurds haven't been as able to do so, because they lack the resources and intellectual capital to organize separately - sort of like how even Pashtun scholars in Pak learn through Urdu in their madrassahs.

So if one thinks of Irani Kurdistan as a Pakhtunkhwa, then one can understand that while Iran would certainly like to create "strategic depth" in Kurdish areas against Turkey and the Arabs, it would also be hesitant to allow a strong, independent Kurdistan nation-state to form. Even if Kurdistan does form, Iran will co-operate with Turkey and the Arabs to do to it what Pak/Iran do to different parts of Afghanistan and Baluchistan.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby vishvak » 15 Nov 2014 20:41

Nice to see the Indian govt working with all who we have good relationship with in the region. We should make the most of our support to Kurdistan- if any- on all various facets. Also, getting guns/ammunition to Kurds fighting barbarians ie ISIL and so as also providing quick relief material to Yazidis running from ISIL on Sinjar mountain for months now-before and during winter- will go a long way.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby RajeshA » 15 Nov 2014 21:20

Agnimitra ji,

Iranian attitude towards the Kurds is more of a result of an Arab Nationalist Iraq under the Ba'athist Party and a Turkey under the Kemalists. Then it was more useful to ensure territorial integrity of Iran.

The situation has changed a lot.

Now one has an Ottomanist Turkey again willing to help Sunni Jihadis get power in Syria and Iraq. It is virulent Wahhabis who now are taking over Iran's Western and Eastern borders ably supported by modern militaries like those of Turkey and Pakistan.

If Iran does not change its policy on Kurds and Baloch, it is going to be overrun by Sunni terrorism. Kurdistan and Baluchistan can create deep divisions among the two countries giving logistical support to the Jihadis - Turkey and Pakistan.

A more compact Shi'a Iran with friendly Kurds and Baloch as buffer zones to Sunni power centers would contribute a lot more to Iranian security than this policy of suffering on the back foot.

India can contribute in keeping Kurds and Baloch moderate and friendly to Iran, by integrating them in our economy.

Iran now needs a game changer and that can only be Free Kurdistan and Free Baluchistan.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Paul » 15 Nov 2014 21:50

Per Twitter, India is opening consulate in Kurdistan

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 16 Nov 2014 14:04

RajeshA ji,
I agree with you that that is the direction Iran should move in, for its own national interest. But given the theocratic nature of the state, Iran is finding it hard to navigate around certain identity boundaries that separate various Iranic peoples, identities such as Shi'ite, Persian, even Islamic (Ossetians are Persian, but Christian, for example), etc. It remains to be seen how Iran navigates the Kurdistan issue in these changing times. In the past, the Kurds have served the Sunni cause much more than the Shi'a cause, and have been a valuable part of the Ottoman empire, too. (Even the grandfather of modern Turkish Gulenist neo-Ottoman Islamism was a Kurd, Said Nursi.) I'm sure the Iranis wouldn't want to see that happen again.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby RajeshA » 16 Nov 2014 23:03

Agnimitra ji,

Kurds and Baloch may be Iranic, but it is obvious that a deracinated aka Islamized Persia, just doesn't have the needed mass to project sufficient cultural gravitational pull.

This is where an "Axis" between Iran and India can be helpful, i.e. in building an Indo-Iranian sphere of influence in the region, which can push back Sunni cultural influence.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 17 Nov 2014 01:20

RajeshA ji,
Absolutely correct. When a deracinated Iran is itself a satellite culture of Arab-Islamic civilization, it will have to tie itself in knots just to keep various subcultures together. It has already lost more than half its civilizational land to Arabs, Turks and Russians.

To fix this and reinvent itself as a civilizational force in the ME, Iran needs to be pulled out of the Arab-Islamic orbit and shunted back into the Indo-Iranian civilizational ecosystem.

But two obstacles remain: one is the intervening Pakistani wedge. But the other is its completely Islamic and non-Iranic western flank.

The emergence of a Kurdistan state to its west will go a long way in allowing Iran to reorient itself civilizationally. If its thinkers and leaders even want to, that is.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby RajeshA » 27 Nov 2014 20:57

Possibly the 39 Indian hostages have been killed by ISIS. India may need to do something about it!

Reposting

Iranian attitude towards the Kurds is more of a result of an Arab Nationalist Iraq under the Ba'athist Party and a Turkey under the Kemalists. Then it was more useful to ensure territorial integrity of Iran.

The situation has changed a lot.

Now one has an Ottomanist Turkey again willing to help Sunni Jihadis get power in Syria and Iraq. It is virulent Wahhabis who now are taking over Iran's Western and Eastern borders ably supported by modern militaries like those of Turkey and Pakistan.

If Iran does not change its policy on Kurds and Baloch, it is going to be overrun by Sunni terrorism. Kurdistan and Baluchistan can create deep divisions among the two countries giving logistical support to the Jihadis - Turkey and Pakistan.

A more compact Shi'a Iran with friendly Kurds and Baloch as buffer zones to Sunni power centers would contribute a lot more to Iranian security than this policy of suffering on the back foot.

Kurds and Baloch may be Iranic, but it is obvious that a deracinated aka Islamized Persia, just doesn't have the needed mass to project sufficient cultural gravitational pull.

India can contribute in keeping Kurds and Baloch moderate and friendly to Iran, by integrating them in our economy. This is where an "Axis" between Iran and India can be helpful, i.e. in building an Indo-Iranian sphere of influence in the region, which can push back Sunni cultural influence. Perhaps Chabahar Port may supply not only Afghanistan but also Kurdistan. Iranians are being stupid in not using KRG to neutralize Sunni Turkey.

Iran now needs a game changer and that can only be Free Kurdistan and Free Baluchistan.

Beyond this, India would have to take Israel into confidence, so that they can ensure that Kurds do not entirely leave American sphere of influence, which America can continue to exert through Iraq. But there would also have to be a detente between Iran and Israel. India can help there too.

In the long run, India should establish a Kurdish Regiment within the Indian Army, and train the Peshmarga and provide weaponry! After all the British too have Gurkhas working in the British Army, so why not India having similar arrangements?!

However it is up to GoI what they consider to be the level of profile they should keep! There are enough channels - Iran, Israel, even Iraq which India can choose!

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 23 Mar 2015 06:08

Belated Newroz wishes to all Kurdish peoples everywhere.

A Kurdish contact wrote: "Trees die standing. Kurds die Dancing."

Terrorist attack hit Kurdish Newroz celebrators in Syria’s Hasakah, 40 killed

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 01 May 2015 09:33

White House opposes key bill recognizing Iraqi Kurdish, Sunni forces as 'country'
WASHINGTON DC – The Obama administration is opposing a US defense bill that authorizes “direct military assistance” for Kurdish forces and Sunni tribal forces and recognizes them as “country,” the State Department said on Wednesday.

The House Armed Services Committee on Monday released the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Markup for Fiscal Year 2016, a draft bill auhthorizing $715 million in aid to forces fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) Iraq.

“The policy of this Administration is clear and consistent in support of a unified Iraq,” acting State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said during a daily media briefing.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby schinnas » 02 May 2015 14:56

Paul wrote:Per Twitter, India is opening consulate in Kurdistan


An independent souverign Kurdistan is in India's interests. Kurds practice an extremely enlightened aspect of Islam - lot more tolerant and progressive than even what many Indian muslims practice. It will be a good influence on the region.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby member_23692 » 02 May 2015 17:20

schinnas wrote:
Paul wrote:Per Twitter, India is opening consulate in Kurdistan


An independent souverign Kurdistan is in India's interests. Kurds practice an extremely enlightened aspect of Islam - lot more tolerant and progressive than even what many Indian muslims practice. It will be a good influence on the region.


Is there any evidence that the Kurds are favorably inclined towards Hindus, or even India ? Or is it just wishful thinking ? Just because someone follows a "moderate" and "enlightened" brand of Islam, does not automatically make them allies with India. As far as I am concerned, even the most moderate form of Islam and its followers are like sitting time bombs, ready to get radicalized at a moment's notice. The same used to be said about Kashmiris, remember ? Balochis are another matter, because there was a historical relationship between Balochis and Hinuds (Balochis rejected the partition in free and fair elections) and there continues to be a relationship to the present time. But even the Balochis, if they ever manage to get independent, I would start getting weary of, considering that at the end of the day, they are Muslims.

Does there exist any relationship with the Kurds ? Have there been any contemporary attempts to forge a modern day relationship, such as visits, exchanges, initiatives from the Kurdish side, expressed desire from the Kurdish side to integrate with the Indian economy etc ? Since I am unaware of these, can you or someone else elaborate on these here with sources ? Have the Kurds been forthcoming with India at all or there is slim evidence at best, and it is only a one sided romance from the Indian side.

Much appreciated.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby abhik » 02 May 2015 18:58

^^^
An Independent Kurdish state being in Indian interests does not have to mean that they are favourably inclined(or not) to Hindus/India.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Prem » 03 May 2015 01:42

abhik wrote:^^^
An Independent Kurdish state being in Indian interests does not have to mean that they are favourably inclined(or not) to Hindus/India.


But They are. Just had lunch with my Kurdish friend. :wink: Barzani rebuked paki and wanted to visit India 3 years ago but our great Mauni Baba went in Shunya Samadhi on him fearing Iran. Even Ambani could not move GOI. Modi administration acted fast to have consulate in Erbil. Chinese are really trying best to get in the neighborhood but Turkey wants no rival.


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