Monday, May 21, 2012

Tariq al-Hashimi

Tariq al-Hashimi (Arabic: طارق الهاشمي; born 1942) is an Iraqi politician and was general secretary of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) until May 2009. Along with Adil Abdul Mahdi, he was a Vice President of Iraq in the government formed after the December 2005 elections for 5 years, and is now Vice President of Iraq along with Khodair al-Khozaei. As a Sunni, he took the place of fellow Sunni politician Ghazi al-Yawar.

Early Life
Tariq al-Hashimi was born in 1942 in Baghdad, Iraq, into the Mashhadan tribe. From 1959 until 1962, he studied at a military academy. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Al-Mustansiriya University in 1969, and a master's in 1978. At the age of 33, he left the military and became active in the Iraqi Islamic Party, serving on its planning committee.

Political Views
Hashimi's party represented the largest Sunni block in parliament after the 2005 election. Hashimi opposes federalism, wants oil revenues distributed based on population, de-Baathification reversed and more Sunnis in the new military and police.

Hashimi stepped down as secretary general of the IIP in May 2009, and Dr. Osama al Tikriti was elected to fill the position. Hashimi stated that he stepped down because he wanted to focus on his responsibilities as vice president, and not for political reasons.

USA Today reported in December 2006 that Hashimi was involved in forming a multi-sectarian alliance to replace the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, with the encouragement of U.S. President George W. Bush, Muqtada al-Sadr.

Arrest Warrant
On May 8th 2012 the interpol had issued an arrest warrant on him. On December 19, 2011, it was announced that Iraq's Judicial Council had issued an arrest warrant for al-Hashimi, accusing him of orchestrating bombing attacks. He has been accused of running a hit squad and killing Shiite government officials. He subsequently sought protection in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. President of Kurdistan Massoud Barzani declared in March 2012 that the Kurdistan Regional Government would not hand over al-Hashimi to Iraqi authorities because Kurdish ethics prevented them from doing so. Al-Hashimi has denied all charges and claimed constitutional immunity from the prosecution.

On April 1, 2012, al-Hashimi was allowed by the authorities in Kurdistan to travel to Qatar to meet with the Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, on what the Qatari administration described as an official diplomatic visit. Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani denounced the visit as unacceptable on Qatar's part and called for al-Hashimi to be immediately handed over.The arrest warrant came just one day after the final U.S. troop withdrawal of remaining forces from Iraq. The dispute between the Sunni Muslim al-Hashimi with the primarily Shia administration of Prime Minister Maliki has generated concern over the stability of the young Iraqi government amid the ongoing sectarian conflic.