‘Afghan Girl’ from Iconic National Geographic Photo Arrested
“AN AFGHAN woman, immortalised on a celebrated National Geographic magazine cover as a green-eyed 12-year-old girl, has been arrested for living in Pakistan on fraudulent identity papers.”
Sharbat Gula could face up to 14 years in prison and a fine of $US3000-$US5000 if convicted.
Pakistan recently launched a crackdown against fake IDs. Officials say she was arrested by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after a two-year probe in Peshawar, near the Afghan border.
Her arrest depicts the desperate measures many Afghans are willing to take to avoid returning to their war-torn homeland, as Pakistan cracks down on undocumented foreigners.
harbat Gula, the ‘Afghan Girl’, awaits her court hearing in Peshawar. Picture: AFP/FIASource:AFP
Officials say Ms Gula allegedly applied for a Pakistani identity card in April 2014, using the name Sharbat Bibi. The photo attached to her application featured the same piercing green eyes seen in Mr McCurry’s iconic image, only older.
If the fraud claims are true, she is one of thousands of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan who have tried to dodge its computerised system.
Steve McCurry poses next to his photos of the “Afghan Girl” named Sharbat Gula in Hamburg, Germany, on June 27, 2013.