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Archive; Nawshirwan Mustafa’s Visionary, Decisive Leadership

By Hoshyar Omar Ali

Historic Meeting and Extraordinary Vision of Noshirwan Mustafa Amin in 1991
Transcribed and translated into English by Hoshyar Omar Ali
The following is the English transcript of a meeting between Noshirwan Mustafa Amin (1944-2017) and Mullah Osman Abdel-Aziz, the leader of the Islamic Movement in 1991. In this meeting, Noshirwan Mustafa explains the political situation at the time and calls for elections, the unification of Peshmarga forces as a national army and a state of law. He predicts civil war will erupt unless the Peshmarga forced are united. In the highlight, this is an extraordinary piece of documentary and explains the trajectory of Kurdish politics from 1991 to the present day. This proves the democratic, pluralistic and civil vision of Noshirwan Mustafa Amin for free and democratic Kurdistan.

Transcription of the Meeting in English

Mustafa: Generally, the political parties do not have problems, the people have problems. The people in need have problems. We, among ourselves, talked for two days about what can be done for solving the situation of Iraqi Kurdistan so that we can bring it out of this anarchy and establish order. Naturally, there are two solutions. One of the solutions is the next parliament, when it is elected, establishes a government and we all respect it, obey it and support it so that it can prevail. But the question people ask is how are you going to govern the country from now until the election time. For that we suggested the creation of an interim executive council from the known persons of KDP, PUK, the Communist party, the Socialist party until election time. These people will come and replace the executive council of the former regime, of the Baathists. For instance, one is the head of the executive council, one the head of internal security and one is the head of trade and economy. Each of us takes a job so that we can put the government institutions on their feet. In this period we can begin to move the Peshmarga out of the cities, empower the police, put order and discipline back into the cities, the enable the courts so that they can issue death sentences for murderers, thieves among others. We put this suggestion to the leadership of Iraqi Kurdistan front, when I said that they have veto and they use it, indeed they used veto and prevented the implementation. They said because we have elections ahead of us there is no need to have an executive council. The administration of Iraqi Kurdistan Front can do the job. The Administration of the Iraqi Kurdistan Front how can govern; there are people in it who are incapable of doing the job. For war time may be he was a courageous man but he cannot govern in the state. I admit in front of you that that I am more educated that the majority of them because, I apart from, completing my studies at Baghdad University, I studied in Vienna for four years, In languages I speak Kurdish, Arabic, Farsi. I speak German very well and I also speak English. I still do not think I deserve to sit in a place like Sulaimanyah and become the governor of Sulaimanyah because I have been training people for twenty-four years against the state. It is better to bring other people and we support them, someone who has the know-how and the expertise. Unfortunately, the leadership of the Iraqi Kurdistan Front did not agree to this. If they have agreed, for example, one of the things that confronts is the issue of dollars which has been a huge source of revenue for the Iraqi government. In the last few months close to four hundred million dollars has been spent in Kurdistan by the Coalition. The Government of Iraq has bought back the four hundred million dollars with fake money, taken it to Baghdad and from there to Aqab and bought goods with it and brought it back. We want to put this in order. You cannot do this in Sulaimanyah alone because the dollars exists in Duhok, Erbil and Sulaimanyah, Kalar and Kirfri. We wanted to create a centrality in Kurdistan for this period so that the steps we take effect in all of Kurdistan. It is not to prohibit dollars only in Sulaimanya but in Erbil from going to Baghdad and prohibit in Duhok from going to Baghdad. Bring these dollars together in a bank and encourage the wealthy people to put Iraqi dinar in it, in return for an interest. If someone wanted to go to Turkey to Iran or Syria or any other place to buy food or something we give him the dollars to go but the goods for us and when he return we account for what is bought and what is spent to determine if they are honest and then sell the goods in the markets. We wanted to do it, even if it is for a month, for the Kurds to govern themselves. It matters not if after a month Saddam attacked us again. You all know that back then Sheikh Mahmoud established for a period and it is talked about with pride in the history of the Kurds. Qazi Mohammad established a republic in a small city like Mahabad until now all Kurds speak of it proudly. Let us even if it is for a week to prove to the world that we can govern ourselves if they let us be. But, I swear by God, sometimes I am about to lose my morale. In other words, in the leadership of these parties there are such people who live better than the kings of the old times. They have never seen anything like it even in their dreams. For instance, there are people who, with respect, in the older times they might not have had an animal to ride. Now he has twenty cars following him, he comes and goes, he have occupied six seven houses. He has gathered 200 hundred or 300 hundred people. He arrests people, forces people out as he desires. He does whatever he wants. This in a law-based system cannot happen. If you establish a state of law state such things cannot happen. If there is a state of law, at the maximum, I go and say my life is at risk appoint two or three people to me as bodyguards, right? I cannot have twenty to thirty people follow me and have a 100 cars following me to harass people on the street, arrest whoever I do not like, imprison him or kill him on the side. That is why some of the leadership of these parties does not profit from elections because when there is an election they cease to exist. I gave an example, a political party needs to have a headquarter in Sulaimanyah right? The headquarter belongs to the state, the state takes its houses back, it is one of the revenues of that government, party cannot occupy a house. Then it will be forced to rent a house and pay for it. When he rents a house and pays for it needs to take contributions from its members instead of giving them money. Then they will not be able to steal cars and bulldozers to provide for his men. They have to go and work. Those who are police join the police and those who are soldiers join the Peshmarga. The rest cannot assault people. If these cease to exist, this party fades away. It is going to weaken little by little. That’s why they are not willing to have a government in Kurdistan. They are want chaos and anarchy. God forbid, it things continue as they are, we are going to be like Lebanon. Each part or each city a party occupies and we start killing each other. Therefore, I think that you greatly emphasize that in order to oblige the parties to unite the Peshmarga forces into an army for all Kurds to defend the borders of Kurdistan and [you also must] greatly emphasize that election is essential because, God forbid, if they are no elections there will be civil war like it happened in Lebanon.

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