The Kurdish Globe
Erbil, the regional capital of Kurdistan, hosted a conference about deciding on a national Peshmarga Day
The conference was held on May 27th and participated by all the political parties in Kurdistan Region and a number of Iranian Kurdistan political parties.
Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani attended the conference and gave a speech, in which he said that although September 11, the anniversary of the start of the September Revolution in 1961, is a symbol of the struggle of Peshmarga for him and a proper day to be declared as the Peshmarga Day, still he wanted the conference decide the day.
"Being a Peshmarga carries a lot of meanings, it means integrity, sovereignty, sacrifice, and this honor is a big chance for any one," Barzani told the attendants of the conference. "Peshmarga is a person who holds his life in his hands waiting for death. What could be more lovable than a human's life? This was the homeland."
Barzani expressed his happiness that all the parties who participated in the Kurdish liberation movement were present there to decide about a day for Kurdistan's Peshmargas.
President Barzani also added that September 11 was the best option as on that day all the Kurdistan revolted and it was the revolution of all the Kurds.
"Still I will leave it for you to decide.
Barzani also added that the promising thing is that the Kurdish national liberation movement in all parts of Kurdistan has passed the stage where Kurds would fight each other.
After President Barzani's speech, participants started discussions about the issue and put forwards various suggestions and options for the Peshmarga Day.
Sheikh Jaafar Sheikh Mustafa, Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Minister of Peshmarga stated that his ministry feels responsible to decide about a Peshmarga Day in the presence of all the parties.
"Fortunately we have a lot of dates that could be chosen for this purpose starting from the establishment of the Republic of Kurdistan, Kurdistan's flag, King Mahmud's government, September Revolution, Gulan Revolution, Kirkuk's liberation and so on," Minister Mustafa said. "These are all national days and do not belong to any specific political party alone."
Responding the claims of a number of participants from the opposition groups about the affiliation of the Peshmarga to the political parties, Minister Mustafa argued that Peshmargas have become mebers of a party for the purpose of liberating his homeland and the parties were a tool for the Peshmarga to achieve his national goals.
"I think in the national issues, no Peshmarga or Kurdish citizen feels affiliated to his party but rather to his nation," argued Peshmarga Minister.
Jaafar Aminky, member of KDP's politbureau said that his party recommends September 11th as a suggestion rather than imposing it.
"We do not impose any specific day on the conference participants," Aminky told the Globe.
Participants from the Eastern Kurdistan also submitted their suggestions to the conference and also reiterated their respect for the decision of the Kurdish Parliament and Presidency since, according to them, the Southern Kurdistan experience belongs to all the Kurds.
"Kurdish nation has its own flag and national anthem," stated Omar Balaki, member of the politbureau of the Kurdistan Democratic Party Iran. "Although Kurdistan has been divided but as we currently have a parliament, a Peshmarga force and a government in Kurdistan Region, they should be able to choose a Peshmarga day so that other parts of Kurdistan abide by it."
Balaki also added that they have suggested to incidents to be made a basis for Peshmarga Day, first was the day of raising the first Kurdish flag, which is December 16th, or February 10, the day when the name of Peshmarga replaced the name of soldier.
"Despite all these, we will respect the decision of the Kurdistan Region Presidency and the parliament.
Najma Gulparwar, politbureau member of the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, stated that there are different characteristics among the different parts of Kurdistan, but "if we take a look at our history, our national days should be the same for all the parts."
Falakaddin Kakayee, Kurdish writer, intellectual and ex minister of culture at the KRG, suggested that one day before Nawroz could be a good option as, according to him, Nawroz is a symbol of Kurdish resistance and Peshmargas have proved their resistance in practice.
Mustafa Chwrash, member of the politbureau of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) told the Globe that the conference cannot make any decision about the day, but rather puts suggestions forward for scientific and historical discussion.
Chawrash described the suggestions by the Eastern Kurdistan parties as positive and relevant, as he thinks the other parts of Kurdistan have also actively participated in the Kurdish national liberation movements and struggle.
"There are a lot of options starting from the Republic of Kurdistan till the present time, all of which have been raised and discussed," Chawrash said. "All the suggestions and ideas will be submitted to the Kurdistan Region Presidency and the Kurdistan Parliament for a final decision.