Describing South Africa as a great friend of India, outgoing Indian High Commissioner Ruchira Kamboj has said its support in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack is indicative of their "special relationship". Kamboj, who has been appointed as Ambassador to Bhutan, said South African Parliament unanimously accepted a motion which not only expressed solidarity with India, but also placed the onus firmly on Pakistan to address the issue of terrorism.
In my interactions with members of the South African government, civil society organisations and people from all walks of life in recent weeks, there's been nothing but robust support for India, Kamboj told PTI in an interview.
Although the Pulwama attack was condemned globally as an act of terrorism, the South African government was one of the few that specifically identified it as originating in Pakistan, calling on the government there to find and take action against the perpetrators of this dastardly attack", she said.
His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini wrote directly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling on him to continue to get rid of such evils in society'," the 1987-batch Indian Foreign Service officer said.
Among others who decried the terror attack was Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, who runs the Gandhi Settlement in Phoenix.
Even South African media and the public through their candle light vigils across the country sent out a clear message that no country should harbour organisations which promote terrorism. There was also concern expressed in many circles that if this could happen in India today, it could be anywhere else in the world tomorrow, she said.
Kamboj, who has also served in South Africa as Consul General in Cape Town, said: President Cyril Ramaphosa being the chief guest at Republic Day celebrations in January this year and initiatives to grow trade and industry between India and South Africa including the resolution of a long-outstanding impasse with Defence conglomerate Denel was also something very special."
The friendship between India and South Africa has definitely grown greatly in these past two years, and I have no doubt that my successor will continue to build on that, Kamboj said.