National Geographic ‘Afghan Girl’ arrested

The woman from the famous National Geographic front cover has been arrested in Pakistan for possessing fake identity papers.

Officials say she was arrested by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after a two-year probe in Peshawar, near the Afghan border.

Sharbart Gula applied for an identity card in April 2014, using the name Sharbat Bibi. Pakistan has recently cracked down on illegal use of documentation by refugees to gain citizenship in the country.

Steve McCurray originally captured the image of Ms Gula in 1985 during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The photo with her distinct green eyes became one of the most famous magazine covers of the age.

Ms Gula faces up to 14 years in prison if the allegations against her are proven.

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Sherbat Gula, ‘the Afghan girl’. AFP PHOTO/FIA

Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that ID cards were issued to Mrs Gula and two men who claimed to be her sons.

A NADRA source told the paper: “They may not be her sons, but this is a common practice among Afghan refugees whereby they list names of non-relatives as their children to obtain documents.”

 

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