Afghan Embassy in India Confirms Gold Smuggling by Consul General

The former Afghan government’s embassy in India confirmed the allegation that Zakia Wardak, the consul general of Afghanistan in Mumbai, India, was accused of smuggling 25 kilograms of gold.

The embassy announced in a statement that Zakia Wardak was not associated with the former government of the country and was operating in coordination with the Islamic Emirate in India.

The statement said: “We would like to address the recent incident in Mumbai concerning gold smuggling allegedly involving an Afghan citizen. We acknowledge the regrettable nature of this event. However, it is important to clarify that the former mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in India asserts that the individual implicated has no affiliation with our former Republic’s mission.”

The Afghan embassy in New Delhi ceased its operations on October 1, 2023. The embassy had previously announced that the cessation of its activities was due to pressure from the Indian government and the Islamic Emirate to hand over the embassy.

Wais Naseri, a political analyst, said: “The fact that the Afghan embassy is controlled by individuals from the republic and they claim that this person is not associated with us, this is a result of the administrative corruption that exists under the Taliban rule. Unfortunately, this statement is from political competition. Unfortunately, Ms. Zakia Wardak, whether related to the Islamic Emirate of the Taliban or the former republic’s embassy, is mentioned as an Afghan diplomat.”

So far, the Islamic Emirate has not commented on the accusation against the Afghan Consul General in Mumbai.

Previously, following the cessation of the Afghan embassy’s activities in New Delhi, Shir Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the political deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had stated that the Islamic Emirate’s consulates in the cities of Mumbai and Hyderabad are active.

Some former diplomats say that if such a claim is proven, it will damage the diplomatic credibility of Afghanistan and its relations with other countries.

Aziz Maarij, a former diplomat, said: “It would greatly damage the reputation and prestige of a country, the credibility of Afghanistan and its people, and even the Afghan diplomatic apparatus.”

Waheed Faqeeri, an international relations expert, said: “If this crime is proven against her, it will make a bad name for Afghanistan, Afghan diplomats, and the Afghan diplomatic apparatus.”

Meanwhile, Zakia Wardak, in an interview with Times of India, expressed her surprise at the allegations against her. She is awaiting investigation in this matter.

On Friday, Zakia Wardak resigned from her position at the Afghan embassy in India by publishing a resignation letter.

Afghan Embassy in India Confirms Gold Smuggling by Consul General