Iranian Kurdish Groups Ignore PJAK’s Call for Talks

By SAKAR ABDULLAZADA – RUDAW – 17.4.2013 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A call by the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) to resolve differences received a frosty reception by Kurdish groups in Iran, which deny the militants’ claim of representing Iranian Kurds.

PJAK is regarded as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is headquartered in the Qandil Mountains of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region, and whose leader has been jailed in Turkey since being captured in 1999. “The time has come for the Iranian Kurdish parties to meet and discuss solutions,” PJAK official Rezan Jawid said before hundreds of party supporters at Qandil on the recent occasion of the group’s 10th anniversary. “In order to make this happen, we will commit to fulfill our responsibilities,” said Jawid, whose party in 2011 announced a unilateral ceasefire in its fight against the Iranian government for greater rights for Iran’s large minority Kurds.

None of the Iranian Kurdish parties responded directly to PJAK’s call, casting doubt instead on the group’s right to speak on behalf of Iranian Kurds. “Such a message shouldn’t come from a group like PJAK. The Iranian Kurdish parties have already been discussing this matter,” said Kamal Karimi, an official from the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI). “The call from PJAK will not achieve its goal, because the party cannot play an effective role due to its unpopularity in Iranian Kurdistan,” claimed Najmadin Gulparwar, a spokesman for the Kurdistan Labor and Revolutionary Party of Iran.

Ahmad Salhi, an official from the Iranian Kurdish Communist Party (KOMALA) which attended the anniversary celebrations at Qandil, told Rudaw that, “Jawid’s message cannot create a new environment for dialogue and will not be able to gather the Iranian Kurdish groups around negotiations.” “KDPI and KOMALA would only consider working with PJAK if it officially denies it is an Iranian Kurdish group,” said Bahroz Ardallan, a leader of the Kurdistan Struggle Party of Iran.