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The Iraqi example

Mar 16,2019 - Last updated at Mar 16,2019

Iraq has set a perfect example for dealing with its large Kurdish minority while preserving the unity of the country by stipulating in its constitution that it is both an Arab and Kurdish state. 

What a fine example this is, which keeps Iraq a united country and protects its territorial integrity for all times. This ingenious way of handling large minority groups of people should be looked at by other countries with similar demographic conditions and challenges. 

Against this backdrop, it was a completely counterproductive move by the Kurds of Iraq to push for independence by holding a referendum on September 25, 2017, on breaking away from the country. Ninety-three per cent of the Iraqi Kurds voted in favour of independence, but the plan never got off the ground due to the resistance of the central government in Baghdad and lack of regional or international support. 

In retrospect, what really caused the collapse of the pro-independence motion in Iraq was the lacklustre support for it by Iraqis of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. The fact that the Kurds of Iraq can call Iraq their county as well weakened the push for Kurdish independence. 

Iraq demonstrated, therefore, that there are still viable ideas out there and prototypes for holding a country together for all times, even though demographic composition of the population may suggest otherwise at first glance. 

Now the Kurds of Iraq enjoy autonomy in the north of the country where the majority of them are concentrated, but they remain part and parcel of Iraq, the Arab and Kurdish state. The Kurds of Iraq have, therefore, no legitimate grievance or complaint within the framework of greater united Iraq. Neither the Arabs of Iraq nor the Kurds of Iraq have cause to rock the boat as long as the organic law of the land says in black and white terms that Iraq is an Arab and Kurdish state. In other words, the Kurds already have their own state. Is it not enough evidence of the dual nationality of Iraq that the president is always a Kurd by law!

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