ERBIL — Qadir Hamajan, a leading figure in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), explains his views over the political deadlock in Kurdistan Region and independence referendum. He told BasNews in an exclusive interview that Kurds should realize that they have other enemies other than Islamic State (IS).
BasNews: What is the reason behind the strained relations between the Political parties in Kurdistan Region?
Hamajan: The reason could be different interpretations of the current situation by the political parties that in some cases intend to serve the personal interests. We need to set the disputes and personal interests aside, work to address our differences as time is running out and prolonging the issue may worsen it.
Our nation has a good opportunity now, especially for holding a transparent and accurate [independence] referendum. We all need to support the referendum to let our people finally achieve the right of self-determination.
BasNews: In a previous interview, you told us that the threats against the Kurds won’t fade away until they achieve independence. Do you still insist on that?
Hamajan: Yes, I still think like that: hostility actions against Kurds will continue until they are independent.
We also need to realize that except Daesh [Islamic State], there are other enemies who oppose the right of Kurds. Therefore, we need to stand united and solve our [domestic] issues.
BasNews: How do you evaluate the recent resumption in the talks between Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government in Baghdad?
Hamajan: The dialogues are good gestures. Its a healthy policy to conduct conversation with all, including Iraq, the neighboring countries and other world powers. Kurds should undertake the peaceful paths conditioned by the intention to serve the people.
BasNews: A PUK delegation has recently visited Baghdad and met with the Shi’ite factions, did they discuss the Kurdish independence referendum? Do you think Baghdad agrees with the referendum?
Hamajan: Our decisions should be multilateral, the goal may not be achieved with one or two parties. However, no one could prevent Kurds from their natural and constitutional rights. No matter if Baghdad agrees or not, deciding on our future is a right that we already have.
BasNews: What about the neighboring countries?
Hamajan: As I said, this is a right belonging to us and no one else.
BasNews: Are you optimistic about a consensus between the Kurdish political parties, especially after Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani has recently suggested a new initiative to settle down the situation?
Hamajan: Dr. Fuad Hussein’s visit to Sulaymaniyah [as Barzani’s envoy] and meeting with PUK and Gorran was an important step forward. We [PUK] welcome any solution to the crisis which may further unify our people.
Since Kurdistan is now facing a difficult situation, unity is the most important thing for us [to survive].
BasNews: Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) are said to hold a meeting soon, what is its aim?
Hamajan: KDP and PUK share responsibilities to govern Kurdistan Region and defend it, therefore bilateral meetings [between these two parties] are crucial. They will be discussing the bilateral cooperation as well as the current situation in Kurdistan and the wider region.
BasNews: Do you think the Kurdish Peshmerga forces will have an active role in the upcoming Mosul operation?
Hamajan: Mosul assault will be a difficult one, Kurds should take part in the operation upon a prior plan and an agreement. And it is to ensure that the Peshmerga will remain in the Kurdish areas [which they have liberated from IS] even after Mosul will be recaptured.