One of the many contradictions inherent within the ideas of nationalism and nation-state is that the believers in these concepts think of state territory as concrete. It is, however, the opposite. Frontiers and boundaries remain fluid. This contradiction has come in full force in the case of independent Kurdistan.
In June this year, Masoud Barzani, the president of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced to hold a referendum on independence for the Northern Kurdistan region. The date to hold a referendum on the question of independence is 25th of September 2017. Whereas the assumption is that majority of Kurdish population will favor the idea of an independent state, thus voting ‘yes’, the neighboring countries along with Baghdad are hostile to the idea of Independent Kurdistan state.
Worth recalling is the fact that Iraqi Kurdistan has been operating its activities as a de facto state since the start of the ongoing Middle Eastern crisis. The Kurdish militia, known as peshmerga, fought ISIS and put the advances of the group to a halt. They were the force that resisted the ISIS with exemplary courage before Iran, Russia and the U.S decided to eliminate the group from the Iraqi soil. Also, important to highlight is the fact that the Iraqi Kurdistan fulfills are the criteria of statehood – separate language, distinct ethnicity and the fact that it has been operating as a de facto separate state. Hence there is no reason for Iraq to object to the legitimate and legal right of Kurd people’s demand for a separate homeland.
What all these powers and states are forgetting is that it is the right of the Kurd population to exercise the right of self-determination. Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states, “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
Arguing for occupation free Kashmir and Palestine and resisting the case for independent Kurdistan is nothing short of having double standards.