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 Kurdistan opposition leader Nawshirwan responds to speech of Talabani

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Kurdistan opposition leader Nawshirwan responds to speech of Talabani  9.1.2010  
By Rebin Khailany 

January 9, 2010

SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — The Change (Gorran) list leader Nawshirwan Mustafa responded to an attack of the PUK-leader and Iraqi president Jalal Talabani on the Kurdish opposition website with the article, ‘from struggling together, to calling each other traitors”.

In October, Talabani criticized Gorran in the fourth PUK-plenum, a meeting with all important members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Talabani said during the plenum, that the Gorran leader was responsible for the civil war, killing Kurdish civilians and responsible for the chemical bombings of Halabja that killed thousands of Kurds. He also argued the Change list leader and former PUK-member is against Kurdish nationalism and federalism.                            

Nawshirwan Mustafa, the chief of Gorran (Change) movement
Talabani is not my enemy

Mustafa said that he had heard earlier about the ‘emotional speech’ of the Iraqi president, but that he responded when the PUK media started publishing the attacks of Talabani against the Gorran leader. “It’s sad that after 40 years of friendship and struggle together the relations between me and Talabani has worsened, just because we do not work for the same organization anymore.”

“I have never called Talabani or other Kurdish politicians traitors or collaborators for the Baath-regime, while he accuses me and my comrades of saying this. We think Talabani’s politics are incorrect, but we do not consider him our enemy. While he forgets 40 years of friendship and joined struggle and accuses us of treachery and enmity, for losing a few parliamentary seats to us.”

Who is responsible for killing Kurds?

Nawshirwan Mustafa also responded to the speech of Talabani, in which Talabani accused Nawshirwan Mustafa of killing Kurdish civilians during the struggle of PUK-peshmerges against the Baath-regime. “I’m not lying, like others. From the year 1975 to the year 1991, I am responsible for my actions in the name of the Kurdish cause. I’m prepared to answer for my acts towards the Kurdish history and my responsibility to god.”

“If Talabani accused me and other for killing people in Kurdish cities and villages, who is responsible then for killing thousands of Kurds in the periods of 1961-1975, 1975-1991 and 1991-2001?"

Halabja allegations

Nawshirwan also responded to the allegations of Talabani about Halabja. “When we spoke and felt broken and powerless about Halabja, thus in wanting to liberate Halabja, Talabani said without any feelings: ‘Halabja has put the Kurdish question internationally on the map… if there were only two or three other Halabja’s’.”

Talabani held Nawshirwan responsible for the chemical bomb attacks by Ali Hassan al-Majid [Newphew of Sadam Hussen] against Halabja in 1988, because Nawshirwan Mustafa worked with Iran, despite threats of Saddam he would bomb the Kurds,
www.ekurd.netif they would work with Iran. But the Change list head says that all agreements with Iran were signed by Talabani himself. “The negotiations of the PUK with the Iraqi government during the Iran-Iraq war weren’t even finished, when Talabani searched for contacts with the Iranian government. In October 1986, Talabani signed a military, political and logistics agreement with Iran, to act as one front against the Iraqi army.”

‘Talabani fled Kurdistan’

Nawshirwan added, that Talabani fled Kurdistan to Iran, to escape the threat of Saddam to the Kurds. “Until the end of the uprising of the people and the liberation of Iraqi Kurdistan, he was nowhere to be seen and didn’t return to Kurdistan. After his return, he shamelessly went to Baghdad to kiss Saddam Hussein and this was broadcasted on the news worldwide [in 1991 Talabani signed a peace treaty with Saddam Hussein].”

Gorran supporters not traitors

The Gorran-leader also said the 445.000 people who voted for Gorran aren’t traitors, reacting to the PUK-leader suggesting that voting for the Change list is treachery. “Weren’t these people also traitors when they voted for the PUK? Are all these people against the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] and the Kurdish cause?”

The PUK-leader also said that Turkmen voted for Change list. “Talabani says that supporters of the Turkmen front voted for Listî Gorran. If there is somebody, who doesn’t have a right to speak about the Turkmen front,
www.ekurd.netit’s Talabani. He was the one who put flowers on the grave of Atatürk and said that the a Kurdish state is a dream in poems. Not me and Gorran supporters,” referring to Talabani’s visit to Turkey, in which he stated to the Turkish newspaper Sabah, that a Kurdish independent state is unrealistic.

Weak memory

Speaking about the upcoming elections, Nawshirwan Mustafa referred to Talabani’s accusations that Gorran is against Kurdish nationalism, denying it. “Talabani says in his publications that Gorran is against federalism and that we want to make from all provinces [three provinces] a federal province. He also says we are against the return of Kirkuk under the authorities of the Kurdish government. It seems the memory of Talabani has weakened.” But the Gorran leader said that the Kurdish people haven’t forgot about the past.

In the last months, both Nawshirwan Mustafa, who was one of the most prominent PUK-leaders, and the Iraqi president Jalal Talabani and secretary-general of the PUK, attacked each other in the media. The tensions have increased between the two Kurdish leaders before the upcoming Iraqi elections in March and the last elections for the Kurdish parliament in July 2009.

The KDP-PUK's ruling coalition, known as the Kurdistani list, won 57% of the vote, forming the government. The Change list (Gorran) won 25 seats and became part of the opposition against the two ruling parties and claims to win around 20 seats again in the upcoming Iraqi elections

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