Zakia Wardark, Afghan diplomat, caught smuggling 25 kg gold at Mumbai airport, resigns over personal attacks

Zakia Wardark, Afghan diplomat, caught smuggling 25 kg gold at Mumbai airport, resigns over personal attacks
Zakia Wardark, Afghan diplomat, caught smuggling 25 kg gold at Mumbai airport, resigns over personal attacks

A senior Afghan diplomat in India has resigned from her position after reports of her involvement in gold smuggling from Dubai surfaced. Zakia Wardak was reportedly caught at the Mumbai airport last month for allegedly trying to smuggle 25 kg of gold worth Rs 18.6 crore from the capital of the UAE.

She had been the acting Ambassador of Afghanistan to New Delhi since late last year after working as the Afghan Consul General in Mumbai for more than two years.

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Taking to X, Wardak mentioned “numerous personal attacks and defamation” directed towards her as well as her family that impacted her ability to operate in the position of an Afghan diplomat. However, she did n’t mention the reports of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seizing gold from her on April 25.

Wardak was not arrested for her diplomatic immunity, news agency PTI reported.

“These attacks, which appear to be organized, have severely impacted my ability to effectively operate in my role and have demonstrated the challenges faced by women in Afghan society who strive to modernize and bring positive change amidst ongoing propaganda campaigns,” her statement, released in both Pashto and English, read.

Wardak said the “persistent and coordinated” attacks exceeded a “tolerable threshold.” She further stated that while she was prepared to tackle the attacks on her character that were “not altogether surprising”, she was not “unprepared for the toll it took on those close to me.”

“It is not fair to subject them to such unwarranted and horribly unfair experiences,” her statement added.

Zakia Wardak said while it’s her passion to serve her country and bring about a positive change, in the wake of the attacks, she has to prioritize her “well-being and ability to function in a normal capacity.”

She thanked the Government of India and the citizens for their “warm welcome” and “unwavering support” during her three-year tenure, and called the experience “a privilege.”

“I sincerely hope for a future where women in leadership roles are supported and respected, where opportunities for progress are embraced rather than met with hostility and defamation. My commitment to advocating for positive change remains unwavering despite this decision,” she wrote in the statement .

Zakia Wardak took charge of the Afghan embassy in New Delhi last November after the mission helmed by the then-Ambassador Farid Mamumdzay announced its closure. Mamundzay had moved to the UK.

Wardak was appointed before the Taliban regained control in Afghanistan in 2021 and was reportedly the sole woman Afghan diplomat.

Published On:

May 5, 2024

 
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