‘Mandela had deep respect, affinity for Pakistan’

South African envoy acknowledges Pakistan’s contribution in his country’s liberation movement


​ Our Correspondent July 26, 2019
PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: South Africa’s Acting High Commissioner Christo Janse Van Noordwyk on Thursday acknowledged Pakistan’s contribution both, during its liberation movement and post-liberation transformative process.

He said this while addressing a seminar in the federal capital to mark ‘Nelson Mandela Day’. The seminar, on “Nelson Mandela’s Glorious Legacy: Lessons for Today and Tomorrow”, had been organised by the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies (IPD) in collaboration with the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSAT). Commemorating Mandela’s achievements, Noordwyk highlighted Pakistan’s support and said that Islamabad had provided valuable and principled support during Mandela’s struggle for liberation and also assisted South Africa in its transformation process.

He added that Mandela had a deep respect for Pakistan in the context of the struggle for independence and a special affinity to Pakistan as it is one of the few countries which Mandela visited twice, adding that the Pakistani government presented Nishan-e-Pakistan, the country’s highest civil award to the former South African president.

‘Nelson Mandela Day’, Noordwyk said, is a global call-to-action for people to change the world. Noordwyk said the great leader always promoted collective unity, irrespective of race, creed, and orientation, as South Africans and as the global community throughout his life.

The envoy added that promoting human rights, improving injustice and respecting international law & global economic developments are now the main objectives for South Africa’s foreign policy.

The day reminds all citizens about the power of selflessness, human service, giving and the spirit of Ubuntu, to be commemorated also through social activism.

“Today, South Africa is committed to developing partnerships around the world in the spirit of internationalism, Pan-Africanism, and South-South solidarity. Moreover, it is also committed to promoting poverty alleviation around the world to oppose structural inequality and abuse of power within the international system of governance,” he maintained.

“Free yourself, free others, serve every day are the three rules that Nelson Mandela followed throughout his life, which he did at a great personal sacrifice,” the envoy said.  He further narrated, “It was his way of life.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is mobilising the legacy of Nelson Mandela to find sustainable solutions to the problems confronting humanity, through deep dialogue informed by robust research, analysis and evaluation.”

The diplomat hoped Mandela Day will become an even more vital means of honouring and activating his legacy.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2019.

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