By  Masooma Batool

Iraq is an oil rich state which lies at the heart of Middle East. The strategic location of Iraq has always been significant in world politics. The Iraqi nation has been in turmoil for the past many decades. After dethroning of King Faisal the second, Iraqis ha high hopes affiliated with the democratic Ba’ath party in power. But the democratic set up changed into dictatorial regime under Saddam Hussain.

The eight year long war of Iraq and Iran, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991 revealed the hostile and aggressive attitude of Saddam as a leader. The atrocities committed on the Kurd minorities under Saddam can never be ignored. The strong links of Ba’ath party with Al-Qaeda leaders was perceived as threat to global peace by the world hegemonic powers.

The US allegations on Iraq regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction led to the unilateral attack by American forces in Iraq. (USA could not gain support from the United Nations regarding its attack on Iraq thus it was unilateral attack not the coalition army) Thus, the US Army formally started “Operation Iraqi Freedom” on March 20, 2003. US troops formally evacuated Iraq on December 15, 2011.

Despite hanging of Saddam and formation of a new government in Iraq, the situation has yet not improved. Rebel groups like ISIS emerged which not only threatened stability in Iraq but also the neighboring Middle Eastern countries. ISIS has become a global phenomenon and is seen as a major threat to world peace. Most initial attacks of ISIS included attacks on the Oil Refineries in Baghdad. There is civil war like situation all over Iraq. The province of Anbar is in the spot light along with other cities and towns like Haditha, Ramadi, Hit etc.

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Iraqi people had taken a breath of relief after the US forces withdrew from Iraq due to the high civilian death casualties. But it was not the end as Al-Qaeda in Iraq attacked the reconstruction activities by the US. Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi’s announcement as the caliph and the Ameer ul Momineen of ISIS caused fury amongst many factions in Iraq. The story of atrocities on the native Kurds has started to repeat again.

The solution to the turmoil in Iraq is the unity within Iraq. The Kurd minority should not be ignored. Instead of division of parliament and the government structure on sectarian and ethnic basis, the Iraqi government should work for prosperous Iraq. ISIS seems to be an incorrigible phenomenon.

The formation of coalition forces being discussed on the international forum in the IGOs and international media seems to be focused more on the national interests of the regional and global powers.

It is the need of the time to look towards Iraq as a nation not as a land of opportunity to intervene in the Middle East or a lucrative opportunity for its hydrocarbon resources. The suffering of the Iraqi civilians should come to an end. The democratic institutions in Iraq should be strengthened to stop Iraq being converted into a failed state.

In this aspect, Iraq can follow the model of Pakistan. Pakistan despite not being a developed state is not a failed state or has never been in severe internal disorder or the civil unrest as one sees the whole Middle East in. Like Kurds spread in different states in Middle East, the South Asia has the Pakhtoon tribe spread across Afghanistan, Pakistan, and few Central Asian states even very minute number in Iran as well. The wit in tackling them is to appease them through proper representation in the political as well as the military institutions. The pride of statesman ship can show wonders.

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The need of the hour for the whole Muslim community is not to split apart in Mufti e Azam (KSA) or the Khumeni/Khumeini (Iran) regime rather become Islamic in true sense with peace and prosperity as their first goal to achieve. The sectarian divide has already filled the pages of Muslim history with conquests, wars, caliphate oriented intra-state monarchical wars and blood. Iraq is rich in natural resources. Moreover, the presence of large number of Holy shrines, respectable for the whole Islamic world, can do wonders in case of Iraq. The Iraqi government should best avail the Aashoor and Arbaeen for depicting the serene or the peaceful side of Iraq. The state of Iraq can again rise to the height of glory and regain its lost strength but the idea does not lie in weak ideologies associated with the Arab Spring. It is Iraqi nationals to be trusted, the Iraqi infrastructure to be improved and the Iraqi government to work systematically as sovereign body. Let’s leave the ancient claims and conjectures of Sunni, Shia, Kurd or any other ethnic or sectarian divide at a side.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info] Masooma Batool studying Defense and Diplomatic Studies atFFatima Jinnah Women University with special interest in Middle East and the Muslima world[/author_info] [/author]