PJAK fighters training at one of their bases in the Qnadil mountains near the Iranian border. Photo: AP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), an armed group with ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), released a statement on Sunday calling for cross-party unity against Tehran. Iranian and Turkish border officials recently shared their “determination” to fight the groups.
“PJAK … invites Kurdish academics, experts and parties to preserve the future fate of their community in a pluralistic and collective way and struggle for a secular and democratic community,” the statement read.
It called for “necessary” measures to help unify Kurds against Iran, such as the formation of a “commission for the removal of disputes between Kurdish political parties.”
PJAK also called for the formation of a national, democratic, and multiparty council “to monitor the positions of all Kurdish political parties; a national army; and a mutual diplomatic council to attend international events.”
Each Kurdish political party in Iran has its own media arm covering its own activities, ignoring other Kurdish parties. PJAK said a united media covering the policies of the councils should be formed.
Focusing on women’s issues and monitoring the status of Kurdish political prisoners in Iranian prisons are among other demands.
The group’s statement follows reports of a meeting between Iranian and Turkish border officers.
Brigadier General Qasem Rezaei, the Iranian border police commander, held a meeting with Arif Cetin, the Turkish gendarmerie general commander, in Boralan district, Maku Count in Iran, the Iranian Mehr news agency reported on Saturday.
The meeting, which took place on Friday, was described as “constructive” by Rezaei, reported IRNA news agency, adding that he stressed the need for the facilitation of traffic over the shared Turkey-Iran-Azerbaijan borders.
IRNA also reported that the Turkish commander had referred to the “historical and friendly relations” between the two neighboring countries, which has led to “maximum security” on their borders.
Cetin had pointed out that the border guards of both countries are “determined” to fight the PKK and PJAK as well as the “smuggling of goods” on the borders, reported Mehr news agency.
The meeting has not been covered by Turkish media, except that the Turkish commander had visited a bordering area.
The official website of Igdir province, where the commander visited, released a statement, confirming the visit, but it did not provide details.
Both Turkish and Iranian forces have clashed with the PKK and its affiliated groups within their borders.
These groups often use the Kurdistan Region as a safe haven. The PKK’s headquarters are in the Qandil Mountains.
Turkey has sent troops and launched airstrikes against the group inside Kurdistan Region territory. Iran meanwhile has fired rockets across the border targeting these groups.