Interview with PJAK commanders

Azad Horak, PJAK Commander

Azad Horak, PJAK Commander

Yesterday Asharq Al-Awsat ran an interview with two PJAK Commanders, Azad Hozar and Hofal Musa.  Hozar, 30 years old, is a member of the PJAK Command Council, and leading political and field politician in the party.  Hofal Musa, 60, is also a member of the party’s Command Council.  PJAK’s leader is Haji Ahmadi, a well-known Kurdish politician.

Asharq Al-Awsat was the first Arab and world newspaper to reach the strongholds of PJAK and meet with one of its senior commanders. He said that Haji Ahmadi’s goal is ‘to deter the Iranian aggression and assaults’ on the Kurdish people in that part of Kurdistan and to exercise legitimate self-defence for their existence thus forcing the regime in Tehran to veer toward peace and dialogue to solve the Kurdish issue in the country.

This meeting took place in the Qandil mountains under a prearrangement that Asharq Al-Awsat had reached with the party.  The agreement was for the Asharq Al-Awsat team to spend one night in the party’s strongholds to wait for two commanding members of the party that were on a military mission in the Iranian hinterland.

In the interview Horaz denied allegations that the US is in any way involved with the training of PJAK members.  What he said was that Iran and the United States have been engaged in secret dialogue and that Khamenei said during his recent visit to Iranian Kurdistan that his regime is prepared to engage Washington in a direct dialogue if it gives up its pressures on Iran.

Horaz also said that PJAK is ready for dialogue for the Kurdish cause and that, in fact, the purpose of their struggle is to impose dialogue. He firmly stated however, that the condition of throwing down their arms is unacceptable without a radical solution to the Kurdish issue.

When asked if they would lay down their arms if asked by Öcalan, Horaz replied, ‘Turkey has nothing to do with our issue. Leader Öcalan is our mentor and he is the one that is persistently asking for a solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey. Furthermore, PJAK has not carried out any military operation against Turkey for it to ask the party to lay down its arms.’

Other topics covered in the interview include discussion about regime change in Iran, PJAK relations with the Kurdish parties in the district of Kurdistan, Iranian shelling of border areas, and upcoming parliamentary elections.

For the complete interview, see the Asharq Al-Awsat website.

For a previous posting on PJAK at Kurdistan Commentary click here.

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