Arrest order for Sunni Leader brews new crisis in Iraq

Tariq al-HashimiAn arrest warrant against the Vice President of Iraq, Tariq al-Hashimi, the crisis in Iraq has taken a menacing turn. Tariq al-Hashimi, a leading Sunni Arab figure, has alleged to have a role in ordering and funding the assassinations of the riaval Shiite bureaucrats.

The warrant came as consequence to the Shiite-dominated government’s order of the arrest the Sunni vice president Tariq al-Hashimi, accusing him of running a death squad that assassinated police officers and government officials.

It is interesting to note that this comes a day after the United States withdrew its last combat troops from Iraq.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s rivals alleged that the judicial panel passed the order of arrest of Tariq al-Hashimi under the influence of the government.

The order has brought in worried responses from Washington and has also brought Iraq’s unstable collision government to the verge of collapse. A major Sunni-backed political coalition said its ministers would walk off their jobs, leaving adrift agencies that handle Iraq’s finances, schools and agriculture.

The sensational charges made against Hashimi has also caused the fears regarding the exploitation of the governmental institution assembled with US help a year ago after a long and bitter process that followed the deadlocked March 2010 elections. Iraq’s leaders may be using these institutions such as the police, the courts and the media for the strengthening of which America has spent millions of US dollars to pound their political enemies and unite the power in themselves.

Washington was astounded when heard about the arrest of Tariq al-Hashimi and the National Security Council spokesman said that “We are talking to all of the parties and expressed our concern regarding these developments. We are urging all sides to work to resolve differences peacefully and through dialogue, in a manner consistent with the rule of law and the democratic political process”.

The breakdown in relations between Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and Tariq al-Hashimi and his Iraqiya Party arrived at an inopportune moment for the administration, coming so close to the troop withdrawal. American officials have spent years trying to urge Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government to work with the country’s Sunni minority, and are wary of having things fall apart now.

Arrest order for Sunni Leader brews new crisis in Iraq

Report by Radhalakshmi R