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Iraqi Politicians Disagree Over Security Plan | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Iraqi politicians representing various groups have conflicting views on the way that the security plan announced by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, called the “Law Enforcement Plan” is currently being implemented.

According to independent Kurdish politician Mahmud Uthman, the “crisis is more political than military or security” and pointed out that “there are disagreements between the Iraqi politicians and religious leaders. The solution lies in a national dialogue that brings together all the Iraqi political and religious blocs.”

He told “Asharq al-Awsat” yesterday, “The security plan is not important anymore since the majority of those accused or wanted because of the security problems left Iraq or withdrew temporarily from the street so as to resume their activities when the stringent security measures being implemented now, and which might achieve limited success, are eased. Things might return to more than they were before the security plan’s implementation.”

The member from the Kurdish bloc in the Iraqi Houses of Representatives (parliament) added: “Iraq needs real national reconciliation instead of military plans and disagreements between the political and religious blocs must be ended.” He noted that “some politicians who are in the government praise Muqtada al-Sadr while Tariq al-Hashimi, who is a vice president, wants Al-Mahdi Army to be categorized a terrorist organization that should be pursued. This is what is happening inside the government so imagine how things are happening outside it.”

Uthman went on to say: “Just imagine. Details of implementing the security plan were not discussed, either in the House of Representatives or the cabinet, except for some broad outlines and in general terms because the government knew that the problems and disagreements would emerge once the implementation started. Not a single person discussed the means of implementation.” The Kurdish politician talked about “breaches in the implementation of the security plan, human rights violations, and measures to remove weapons from the Arab Sunnis”, adding that “there are even disagreements between the American and Iraqi armies. The American forces arrest citizens for reasons that differ from the ones used by the Iraqi forces for arresting citizens.”

Adnan al-Dulaymi, leader of the Iraqi Al-Tawafuq Front, accused those implementing the plan of sectarianism and said: “We backed this plan but did not discuss it in detail in the hope that it would achieve stability and security for the Iraqis. But mistakes and breaches appeared from the start of its implementation. These include random night raids and removing from houses licensed light weapons that are for the purpose of self-defense. All these practices are applied in the areas where the Sunnis live and therefore the plan lacks fairness in implementation.” He noted that “the plan prohibits the arrest of persons without an official warrant and in the presence of witnesses from the area but, unfortunately, this did not happen.”

Speaking by telephone to Asharq al-Awsat from Baghdad yesterday, Al-Dulaymi said that “these measures did not happen in areas with a Shiite population density” and referred to the case of “the attack on and rape of citizen Sabirin al-Janabi despite the government’s denial as if it (the government) did not see the reports of the doctors in the Ibn-Sinai Hospital who confirmed that Al-Janabi was raped by Interior Ministry officers.” He accused “the majority of those implementing the plan of being elements from the armed militias who wear army and police uniforms and break the laws using the government and specifically the security plan as their cover.” He added: “We were hoping for the plan’s success and for controls to be placed around it and noted that “the front’s representatives informed Al-Maliki and the government of the breaches that happened and are happening. We will wait to see how these breaches will be dealt with.” He asserted: “I am compelled to feel optimistic about this plan’s success because we are hoping that the situations will stabilize, in Baghdad in particular and in Iraq in general, so that life can return to normal.”

Iyad Jamal-al-Din, the moderate Shiite leader and parliament member from Dr. Iyad Allawi’s Al-Iraqiyah List, said: “We must know what the Iraqi problem is so as to prescribe the correct medicine for it. Our problem in Iraq is made up of two parts. The first is the use of violence against innocent citizens and government establishments and the second is the political problem or political fault. Speaking to “Asharq Al-Awsat by telephone from Baghdad yesterday, he added: “If the use of legal violence, and by this I mean the one practiced by the Iraqi security forces, is against the illegal violence, then this is part of the solution. The rest of the solution is political and this requires eliminating the quota system and restoring balance to the political process before it is too late. We hope that it is not too late.”

The moderate Shiite leader and leader of the trend that advocates secularism and separation of politics from religion went on to say that “this plan was not discussed in detail in the House of Representatives, the cabinet, or the National Security Political Council that is chaired by President Jalal Talabani, apart from a small circle of security officials.” He ruled out the “participation of elements from the armed militias in implementing the plan” and said in response to Al-Dulaymi’s statement that “Dr. Adnan al-Dulaymi and Al-Tawafuq Front are the last ones to have the right to object to or talk about sectarianism because they make up one of the pillars of political sectarianism in Iraq and are part of the sectarian quota system.”

Mithal al-Alusi, leader of the Iraqi Al-Ummah Party and parliamentary deputy, praised the security plan and said “it has produced much positive results, the first being the Iraqi and American forces working together in the field brought together by military professionalism for the sake of this plan’s success.”