Wednesday, October 26, 2016

National Geographic's Afghan Girl Arrested in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD - The Afghan girl, who became famous for her striking green eyes on a National Geographic cover in 1985, was arrested Wednesday for possessing a fake identity card of Pakistan, where she lives in a refugee camp.

Image result for Sharbat Gula

Sharbat Gula allegedly obtained Pakistani identity documents for herself and her two children after bribing three officials, a representative of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency told EFE, on grounds of anonymity.

The 46-year-old Afghan refugee, who does not have Pakistan citizenship, will be moved to a prison for women, where she will be held until a court reviews her case, for which she could be sentenced to up to seven years in jail.

She could also be expelled from the country, according to the FIA official.

The police are also trying to track down Gula's two children to take them into custody.

The federal agency began investigating the case in February 2015 when several cases of Afghan refugees trying to obtain Pakistani documents to avoid deportation came to light.

Pakistan hosts 1.4 million registered and 900,000 illegal Afghan refugees.

Afghans began arriving in Pakistan following the 1979 Soviet invasion and are one of the largest and oldest displaced communities in the world.

Around 456,000 Afghan refugees have returned back home from Pakistan so far this year, mostly in the last three months, following a Pakistani government ultimatum.

Gula was immortalized by American photographer Steve McCurry in a refugee camp in Peshawar in 1985.

Her face, wrapped in a red shawl and her striking green eyes transformed her into an icon of contemporary photography.

McCurry photographed Gula again 17 years later in Afghanistan and said the woman, then aged 30 years, was ignorant of her fame.

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