By Mohammad Shams-Eddine

KUWAIT, June 18 (KUNA) -- The State of Kuwait marks on Wednesday the Independence Anniversary, the historic day when the country occupied a prominent status among states of the free world, advocating democracy as a system for administration and citizens' welfare.
Embracing democracy was expected of the natives, a community that thrived with freedom and honorable living on this Arab land, basic factors that have eventually contributed to establishing transparent relationship between the ruler and the ruled.
All historic references and evidences affirmed that the natives had chosen their first ruler, Sabah I in 1757, specified "the state resources" at the time, enacted diving regulations for sake of fair distribution of proceeds. At the time this was a unique approach among nations of the globe for these ancestors had chosen to pay for workers' sweat and renounce slavery that was predominant in other parts of the world these days.
Freedom of man and land were basic beliefs that prompted the Kuwaitis to establish a consultative body in 1921 to assist the ruler. They took a step further in 1938, forming a legislative assembly to draft a constitution, in addition to a municipal council in 1931 and the council of knowledge (al-Maaref) in 1936.
Crowning these achievements came on June 19, 1961, when the late ruler, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, announced in a speech independence of Kuwait as a sovereign Arab State, asking the citizens to express their opinions on the relevant treaty, worked out with Great Britain. The independence accord annulled the 1899 treaty of British protection of the country and laid foundations of a relationship between two independent and fully free states.
Six months after the late ruler declared the independence, he signed a bill establishing the constituent assembly for drafting the constitution that stipulated that the governing system would be on democratic bases. Indeed, the document ensured freedom of the homeland, the citizens, affirmed separation of jurisdictions among the diverse authorities but also stressed on their cooperation for welfare of a thriving and civilized society.
The late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem, in 1964, stood on side of democracy and freedom when he sided with the parliament against the executive authority over article 131 of the constitution.
That period of time that concluded with demise of Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem, on November 24, 1965, witnessed establishment of foundations of the constitutional state with modern laws, in line with the basic principles of freedom and democracy. Moreover, it saw struggle by the main founder of modern Kuwait, when Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem firmly confronted the ruler of Iraq, Abdul Karim Qassem, who showed expansionist desires against Kuwait. Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem addressed the natives, thanking them for supporting his confrontation of Al-Qassem.
Kuwait was again targeted with serious external threat during reign of Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem, when the region of Al-Sametah was attacked in 1974. The Kuwaitis had to engage the aggressors in a battle at a time they were preoccupied with plans to develop and modernize the country.
The greater danger came in August 1991, when Kuwait was attacked and occupied by forces of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The aggression targeted not only a small land but the whole entity as an independent and sovereign state and its very existence.
The close relationship between the ruler and the ruled was put to test anew, and the Kuwaitis proved again that they were deeply faithful to the land and the leaders, on top of them was at the time Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
Abdul Aziz Hamad Al-Sager, in a statement addressed at the Jeddah peoples' assembly, said the gathering was not intended to declare allegiance to Al-Sabah family but to re-assert the close bonds between the people and the rulers. Due to this stance, the Kuwaiti leaders and people stood in a single line against the aggression. Moreover, the rule Sheikh Jaber affirmed on several occasions that there would be no avenue to take other than the path for democracy and constitutional ruling.
In translation of this approach, Sheikh Jaber was known for his direct interaction with the ordinary citizens, also for sake of renouncing sectarian, tribal and factional fanaticism. (end) msd.abd.rk KUNA 181120 Jun 13NNNN