Afghan Diplomat Zakia Wardak Resigns Amidst Gold Smuggling Allegations and Personal Attacks

Afghan Diplomat Zakia Wardak

New Delhi: In a turn of events that has stirred the diplomatic community, Zakia Wardak, a senior Afghan diplomat stationed in India, has tendered her resignation. This development follows reports implicating her in a gold smuggling operation from Dubai. Wardak, who was apprehended at Mumbai Airport last month, was allegedly attempting to smuggle 25 kilograms of gold, valued at approximately Rs 18.6 crore.

Wardak’s tenure as Afghanistan’s acting ambassador to New Delhi began late last year, succeeding her role as the Afghan Consul General in Mumbai, a position she held for over two years. Despite the gravity of the accusations, she was not detained due to her diplomatic immunity.

The incident has taken a personal toll on Wardak, who expressed in a statement that the organized attacks against her have significantly hindered her ability to perform her duties effectively. These attacks have also highlighted the societal challenges faced by women in Afghanistan who strive for modernization and positive change.

Wardak acknowledged that while she was prepared for attacks on her character, the repercussions on her close associates were unforeseen and unjust. She stated, “It is not fair to subject them to such inappropriate and horrifically inappropriate experiences.”

Reflecting on her time in India, Wardak expressed gratitude for the warm reception and steadfast support from the Indian government and its citizens throughout her three-year service. She described her experience as a privilege and reiterated her hope for a future where women in leadership are supported and opportunities for advancement are welcomed.

Afghan Diplomat Zakia Wardak

Zakia Wardak assumed the leadership of the Afghan embassy in New Delhi following the closure of the mission previously led by Ambassador Farid Mamundze, who relocated to the UK. Appointed before the Taliban’s ascension to power in Afghanistan in 2021, Wardak was reportedly the sole female Afghan diplomat at the time.