Sharbat Gula was arrested by Pakistan’s FIA from her residence in Peshawar.

Nat Geos Afghan Girl arrested in Pakistan for forged documentsCEA/Flickr
news Pakistan Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 18:53

The “Afghan Girl” who had catapulted to fame after featuring on a 1985 cover of National Geographic magazine, has been arrested in Pakistan for possessing counterfeit identity documents, according to media reports.

Sharbat Gula, now in her 40s, was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from her residence in Nothia area of Peshawar. The authorities said that Gula had in her possession forged Pakistan’s Computerised National Identity card to live in the country illegally. Her dual ID cards of Pakistani and Afghan nationalities have been recovered from her.

According to reports, Gula and two men who claimed to be her sons were issued three national ID cards. Later, Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and the FIA rejected the application saying that the information provided was false and cancelled the ID cards. The arrest happened a year after the discovery of these documents, with Gula being charged under the Pakistan Penal Code and Prohibition of Corruption Act. Authorities have also said that her relatives have refused to identify the two men calling themselves her sons. If convicted, she could face 7 to 14 years in jail as well as a fine of up to $5000. 

The green-eyed girl was only twelve years old when National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry took her picture at the Nisar Bagh refugee camp near Peshawar in 1984. Her haunting picture on the June 1985 cover of the magazine made it the most iconic cover till date. National Geographic also made a documentary on her, calling her the “Mona Lisa of Afghan war”. Seventeen years later, McCurry captured her on his camera again when the magazine re-located her in 2001.



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