Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday paid tributes to anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela and said he is "one of the greatest human beings ever to walk this Earth".
Badal described Mandela`s demise as "an incalculable loss to mankind and a personal loss of an icon who has inspired me all my life."
In a statement issued here, Badal said that the life of Nelson Mandela was "an inspiration to countless millions for many generations who have been waging a struggle for human dignity, freedom, equality and civil rights.
"During long years of incarceration in jail, we often looked up to Nelson Mandela as a source and symbol of strength, fortitude and relentless courage against tyranny, injustice and repression".
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) holds Nelson Mandela in special esteem because of the similarity of the struggles waged by us and him against a similar enemy, he said.
"We also saw in his victory a vindication of the values we hold so dear," said Badal.