London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Dr Adnan Pachachi, head of the Iraqi Independent Democrats Party, has warned against “the continuation of security chaos and sectarian violence, which are exacerbating Iraq on a daily basis.”
“This is what the US Defense Department confirmed in its last quarterly report to Congress. The report indicated that the main problem facing Iraq now is represented in the acts of violence carried out by militias, armed groups, and death squads. This increased losses among civilians and Iraqi security forces by 51 percent although more than two thirds of the victims were killed for sectarian reasons and motives.” Pachachi told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“The Iraqi security forces as they are now cannot confront the increasing violence. They need to be reorganized on professional bases and purged from the elements that are linked to the militias and armed groups which do not owe allegiance to the state. Moreover, the government forces need modern weapons and equipment in order to perform their tasks.” He added that “all this will take a long time although the current situation is critical and tolerates no more waiting or delay.” Pachachi Added.
Pachachi, a veteran politician and member of the Council of Representatives (Iraqi parliament) for the National Iraqi List, believes that “the only solution lies in expanding the multinational forces by incorporating European, Arab, and Islamic forces from non-neighboring countries into them and by reconsidering their command, formation, and responsibilities.” He said: “The UN Security Council will discuss this issue before the end of the year. We hope the Security Council will not be satisfied with extending the mission of the multinational forces, but radically deal with the problem in order to protect the future of Iraq and the security of the whole region.”
“The current political situation in Iraq is complicated. There are differences in the Council of Ministers and splits within the parliamentary blocs. Although it is called a national unity government, the current government of Nuri al-Maliki is not in harmony because it was established on sectarian quotas.” He added.
The head of the National Iraqi List told Asharq Al-Awsat that “During the election campaign last year, the National Iraqi List warned of the dangers political sectarianism poses to the future, unity, and security of Iraq, but the Shiite and Sunni parties exploited the people’s fears and waged the election campaign on the basis of sectarian polarization and obliteration of the political identity in favor of the sectarian identity.” He added: “The Iraqi List stands for the firmly established Iraqi traditions. All the parties which worked in the Iraqi political scene since the establishment of the modern Iraqi state (in 1921) have rejected political sectarianism. Therefore, these parties were made up of Arabs, Kurds, Turkomans, Christians, Shiites, and Sunnis.”
“The sectarian parties existed only after Saddam Hussein seized power and systematically oppressed the citizens because of their sectarian and ethnic affiliation. This coincided with the establishment of the Islamic republic in Iran and the growth of fundamental religious movements.” He stressed that “all these factors helped revive sectarian feuds, which were about to disappear in Iraq, and the US Administration then came and entrenched the principle of quotas and political sectarianism.” he added
Pachachi admitted that they in the National Iraqi List do not trust Al-Maliki’s government saying that, “Although we support Al-Maliki, we do not much trust his government because some of his ministers are linked to militias and armed groups. The ministers were not chosen on the basis of efficiency, experience, and integrity, but on the basis of their political and sectarian affiliation.”
Pachachi said he does not believe “the prime minister can depend much on his cabinet colleagues to implement the program he announced when he assumed responsibility. That program called for achieving national reconciliation, disarming and dissolving the militias, and maintaining the unity of Iraq. We (the National Iraqi List) participated in the government on this basis.” He stressed that the Iraqi people “are still waiting for dissolving the militias, restoring security and stability, providing the necessary services, and combating the widely spread corruption.” He added: “The Iraqis also view with anger and resentment some neighboring countries’ interference in their internal affairs. These countries consider Iraq a card with which to play in order to strengthen their position in negotiations with other countries and achieve their ambitions at the expense of the Iraqi people.”
Pachachi is of the opinion that Al-Maliki has one of two options. The first is keeping the government as it is now and the second is making a comprehensive cabinet reshuffle, particularly in the main posts that are directly linked to the citizens’ life, security, and prosperity. He said these posts should be given to persons who are independent of political parties and who are known for their efficiency, experience, and integrity in order to rescue Iraq from its ordeal and fulfill the people’s aspirations.