Iraqi Kurdish pilgrims intend to raise
Kurdistan flag on Arafat Mount in Mecca, Saudi
October 23, 2011
1500 Kurdish pilgrims have the intention to raise
the Kurdistan flag on Arafat Mount, Mecca, Saudi
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', ó Kurdish Endowment and
Religious Affairs representative reported on
Saturday that 1500 Kurdish pilgrims have the
intention to raise the Kurdistan flag on Arafat
Mount, Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in protest for the
decision taken by the Iraqi Federal Government to
lower Kurdistan flag in in disputed Khanaqin
district, the decision was refused by the
administration of Khanqin.
Nirwan Naqshabandi, in a telephone call with Aswat
al-Iraq, from Mecca, said that the mounting of the
flag is "in a protest of Iraqi government decision
to dismount Kurdish flags from governmental
buildings in disputed areas".
Iraqi government, lately, decided to dismount the
Kurdistani flag from governmental buildings in
Khanaqin city, Diyala province, which is one of the
disputed areas between the Erbil and Baghdad.
The dismounting of the Kurdish flag resulted in mass
demonstrations inside Kurdistan region and outside.
Iraqi PM Nouri Al Maliki,
ordered local authorities in Khanqin District on
October 11, to lower Kurdistan Flag raised at tops of
governmental buildings,www.ekurd.netdeclared head of Diyala provincial council Taleb
Mohammed said. Security forces had visited Khanqin
District earlier and reported about having seen
Kurdistanís flag raised at tops of police stations
and official directorates, he said.
The administration of Khanqin District in Iraqi
disputed Diyala province warned on October 12, from
the outbreak of ďa major
popular revolutionĒ if the central
government lowers Kurdistan Flag raised at the top
of governmental buildings in the District. We
refused this demand, the
administration pointed up while calling not to
provoke the public opinion.
rallied on 16
October in the disputed Iraqi town of Khanaqin to demand the reversal of
a Iraq central government ruling barring the Kurdish
flag of the autonomous Kurdistan region in official
Kurdistanís Peshmerga Ministry had spread its forces
of Diyala Province last August, after the escalation of the
Kurdish demands on both popular and official levels
to protect Kurds in those areas, considered among
the areas in-conflict between Kurdistan government
and the Federal government of Baghdad.
Diyala province, a
restive part of Iraq outside the Kurdish autonomous
region of Kurdistan but home to many Kurds. The Diyala district, which includes a string of villages and
some of Iraq's oil reserves, is home to about 175,000 Kurds, most of them
In June 2006, the local council of Khanaqin proposed that the district be
integrated into the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.
During the Arabisation policy of Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, a large number of
Kurdish Shiites were displaced by force from Khanaqin. They started returning
after the fall of Saddam in 2003.
Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution is related to the normalization of the
situation in Kirkuk city and other disputed areas like Khanaqin.
Kurdistan's government says oil-rich Khanaqin should be part of its
semi-autonomous region, which it hopes to expand in a referendum in the future.
In the meantime, Khanaqin and other so-called disputed areas remain targets of
Sunni Arab insurgents opposed to Kurdish expansion and vowing to hold onto land
seized during ex-dictator Saddam Hussein's efforts to "Arabize" the region.
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