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IRAQ: Man on the hilltop

NawshirwanWith yellowed fingers, the aging Kurdish warrior lights another cigarette and speaks his mind.

For decades Nawshirwan Mustafa fought for Kurdish autonomy against the tyranny of Baghdad. The steely-eyed intellectual turned guerrilla commander helped secretly organize the 1991 uprising against Saddam Hussein that challenged Baghdad's rule in the north and led to the establishment of the Kurdish autonomous region.

Now at 63 he's embarked on a new crusade: against his fellow Kurdish warriors, whom he accuses of corruption and complacency.

"There is no separation of the political parties from the government," he says. "There's no transparency. There's cronyism and nepotism in the appointment of high officials."

He's resigned from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of two main Kurdish political parties of which he once served as a leader, and launched a new newspaper, Rojnameh, targetting his former brethren.

"Other newspapers in Kurdistan belong to the political parties," he says. "This is an independent newspaper."

Journalists enjoy more press freedoms in Iraqi Kurdistan than other parts of the Middle East. But problems persist. After a two-week fact-finding mission, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists concluded that "while the margin to criticize is relatively wide in the independent press, journalists have expressed concern about a rising number of physical attacks on the press, the arbitrary detentions of reporters by security forces, and the use of the courts to harass journalists," according to a press release.

Mustafa is too popular among the Kurds to be silenced easily. But he now lives almost under house arrest, behind gates atop a huge hill in Sulaymaniya, the second largest Kurdish city, physically cut off from the rest of Kurdistan, as he publishes his paper.

"I was one of them," he says of the Kurdish bigwigs, who now spend their days assembling lucrative oil deals and putting up lavish real estate developments. "I tried to change it from the inside. That didn't work. Now I'm trying from the outside."

Borzou Daragahi in Sulaymaniya, Iraq

Photo: Nawshirwan Mustafa, a former Kurdish political leader, has resigned from his party's leadership and begun criticizing his former brothers-in-arms, whom he accuses of corruption. Credit: Borzou Daragahi

Comments () | Archives (9)

To Dr. Sirwan Haqqi

You are claiming that Kak Nawshirwan Mustafa was in control of Kurdistan in 1991 uprising it is not true. Kak Nawshirwan never has been in control of the PUK or Kudistan. He was the second man in the PUK organization without power. He served Talabani interest not Jaff or Kurdish people interest.
We hear that he call himself Jaff but how he does not know what Mr. Talabani doing against the Jaff people and their region. We are from the Jaff people know the first hand that the PUK communist ideology are against the Jaff confederation people and it’s region. Even he call himself Jaff does not matter because he did not do any thing for Jaff people all his life.
We are not part of Baghzadah Jaff (The children of Mohammad Pashah) The people you are talking about they are just like Talabani Shaikhs, Barzani Shaikhs, Barzanji Shaikhs and other trader of Kurdish blood. It is not crime to defend the group of people that group could be Tribal area, regional area, religion group or any unified group under any names.
The problem is a lie of socialist, communist, Islam organization under big names takes the wealth of people under many different big names.
If the tribe, region are free to elect their own representative to rule themselves then there are no room for the thief’s to take people’s wealth under all this big names.
We all know how tribal chiefs, Shaiks, political leaders like Talabani and Barzani and Shaik Mahmood and others betrayed kurds and took their wealth. You could be from one of those family members lining up to take the food out from the mouth of Jaff and other Kurdish community for your self.
Doctor, we all educated people now in Kurdistan. We understand who really trying to serve Kurdish people and who want to manipulate them for his or her interest.
We hope that Kak Nawshirwan will quit the communist ideology and work first for Jaff people and then Sulayminah and large general Kurdish population. First he has to distance himself from Talabani then he can help local people before realizing the socialist international.
The educated Kurds jumping all over the world but not doing any thing for their own region which they should do first before solving humanity problem around the world. Tribe are not shame. The shame when you take people’s money (Thief) .
Good luck. Please do not be follower like Kak Nawshirwan try to be creative in helping your own people Where ever you are.

Some of the info is incorrect, Noshirwan isn't under house arrest quite the opposite actually his popularity and influence in all of Iraqi Kurdistans armed forces gives him potential to be the most powerful man in Iraqi kurdistan.

Kak Noshirwan is one of the greatest men in Kurdish history, he led the Kurdish revolution from 1976 to 1992. He was the most wanted man in Iraq for over 15 years (Iraqi secret police documents found after the fall of Saddam confirm this). He set up the Kurdistan front and was the architect and conducter of the 1991 uprising (read up on it!!). He liberated Kerkuk 1991, and built our autonomous region in iraqi Kurdistan. When he handed over power in 1992 to Talabani and Barzani his Peshmergas controlled all of iraqi Kurdistan from Ibrahim Khalil to Perwez Xan. He was the one who people voted for in every PUK election yet he handed over power to Talabani, he won the 1992 elections yet he gave up his seat of power to Barzani and Talabani. And even now he is still the one fighting for Kurdish rights, fighting against corruption, his books are sold out in Kurdistan, HER BIZHI KAKA NAWA.

P.S. just to adress some of the posters, one Kak Noshirwan is considered a leader of Jaff by the Jaff so I don't know where you got your information about him being anti Jaff, two the Jaff tribe has a huge number of high ranking Kurdish offcials in both the PUK and KDP in addition to the Beg Zadas (leadership) of Jaff being amongst the richest people in Kurdistan most of home were high officials in Saddams government and the Shah of Irans before that.

To “Peshmerga” who claims to live in the USA but can’t even grasp a decent enough English for anyone to understand what he is talking about, who claims Kak Noshirwan "took his house" is either lying or infact himself a son of a Jash (traitor) because the house which Kak Noshirwan took was the former baathist governer of Sulaimaniahs house. Finally to Jaff sasani, one Noshirwan was with Talabani in 1964, two if Noshirwan was going to steal and plunder he would of done in 1992 when he controlled Ibrahim Khalil border pass which made Massoud Barzani billions and put him into 'forbes Magazines: Richest men', he wouldn't of allowed Massoud or Talabani to take over Kurdistan he would of himself, because rest assured he could of!

Nawsherwan mostafa is not reformist he does share the crime against the Kurdish people and mismanagement with Mr. Jalal Talabani. He is from the city of Sulayminah, Iraq faction and used to be the assistance of Mr. Talabani in the PUK political organization.

The Sulayminah factions are known to be anti the Jaff people. The people in the city of Sulayminah mostly are full of hatred toward the Jaff people since the Rule of the Barzanji Sayied family. He is one of the people full of hatred toward the Jaff people you can see that through the Governor of Sulayminah and other official from his faction. The Jaff people are more than one million people in the PUK administration area but they not have any representative in the PUK mafia Government.

The Kurdish people should measure the individual and political organization by what they are accomplish for them in service instead of following people without know them very well.

Nawsherwan mostafa hasn't done any thing for kurdistan and for kurdish people he is part of kurdish politician! He got wat he wanted! he don't care what's going on arround him that is why now he live quiet but coward .

Kurdish Independent man from Halabja

Dear American people Please help our people in Kurdistan from Mafia administration of the current President of Iraq Mr. Jalal Talabani. Ask your congressman, your senator to stop crime against Kurdish people. Majority of our people are sick and dieing from every kind of dieses.

We are appealing directly to you. We are human please inform the US Government to stop Mr. Talabani. We need rule of Law. The Kurdish Government officials are tacking the budget money for themselves; they are the corrupt and mafia organization nothing else. Asking your help so the congress to send fact-finding mission to Kurdistan. The US and international occupation forces are legally responsible for our people miserable life in Kurdistan.

The picture above is Mr. Nawshirwan Mustafa who was partner and assistance of the current President Jalal Talabani. Both men share the crime committed against Kurdish population some day the Kurdish people court should decide their fate.

Mr. Talabani was assistance of the Kurdish leader General Barzani. He revolted against General Barzani in 1964 thousand of the Kurds got killed because of the political dispute between Barzai and Talabani. Now the dispute between Mr. Talabani and Mr. Mustafa should be stop before any Kurds get killed.

The Kurdish people are the worst nation on the earth when it comes to pick the leaders. They are motional people when coming to choose the leaders. The Kurds are always looking to be servant instead of looking for one of their own to serve them.

Kak Nawshirwan are no different from Kak Jalal Talabani or other Kurdish leaders in the history of our people. In this modern day we Kurds should follow the constitutions and modern laws instead of following the individual if we really want to live and be respected as human being.

Our people are suffering from their own mistakes. Who are going to grantee poor Kurdish people that Kak Nawshirwan won’t be like Kak Talabani. After all Kak Talabani was just like him in 1964. Look at his behavior now how really screwing up the Kurdish national interest.

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Most of the ionformations in this article is untrue;(But he now lives almost under house arrest) he does not live under house arrest.He is a great kurdish leader. He seeks reform inside the kurdish community ...He is loyal to his country and Party..

Nawshirwan Mustafa is a great man, one of the few politicians not to steal and plunder hsi own country, i and my friends cant wait till he becomes ledear.a true patriot and a inspiration, Kurdistans Mandela.

Idont think he is right man he took my dad house with force he is one of the most dangores mafia now in kurdistan he should in jail not live in suly city, iam so sorry i see this guy On news , he have to give my lands and housesthat he took it from us when i go back from USA to i put him in jail , or i make him moive , he is most dangors maifa in the world i dont know WHO is nahsorwan mustfa who killed wira rash and iam as PUk memmber i try tell the world fromLA that PUK have alot black files about nashirwan msutafa , but the time and the day comes to show it the world , sham on JASH NASHOWRWAN , jASH SON OF JAHS

we all kurdish people love him because without him we lose many things,since 1991 till 2008 what happend new for kurdish people ?nothing then only he can change our system,only he can give us one hope again.
best wishes to nawshirwan mustafe


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