If convicted, Afghan girl Sharbat Gula, who was pictured on the cover of the magazine in the year 1984, could face 14 years in prison and fined $ 5,000
Sharbat Gula, the green-eyed Afghan girl celebrates that was immortalized in 1985 when National Geographic magazine published its haunting picture on its cover, was arrested on Wednesday to stay in Pakistan with false identity documents.
Confirming the arrest, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) announced the Sharbat authorities, now in his 40s, was arrested in Nothia area for illegal possession of a Pakistani identity card.
Nicknamed “Mona Afghanistan war Lisa”, Sharbat catapulted into global prominence after National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry captured his iconic photograph when she was a young girl of 12 years in the camp Nisar Bagh refugee on the edge of Peshawar 1984.
She had migrated to Pakistan after the situation in Afghanistan has become worse and married a Pakistani man. Sharbat was arrested for fraud in his home after two years long investigation.
Gula was charged under section 419, 420 of the Pakistan Penal Code and section 5 (2) the prohibition of the law Corruption. She was previously investigated by the police who discovered that she was living in Pakistan with fraudulent identity documents. Gula was also obtained false identity cards for her two children.
Sharbat, who asked a Pakistani identity card in Peshawar in April 2014, had used the name Sharbat Bibi. She was one of thousands of Afghan refugees who have managed to dodge computer system Pakistan to obtain an identity card.
The FIA authorities also carry out raids to arrest her husband and two children. If convicted, Gula could face 14 years in prison and a $ 5,000 fine.
Earlier, three national database and registration authority (NADRA) officials, including Assistant Deputy Director and processing agents, were suspended for the issuance of identity cards illegally.
Pakistan was addressing the crisis of Afghan refugees for over three decades; UNHCR called as “the largest protracted situation of refugees in the world.” According to UNHCR figures, Pakistan is home to some 3 million Afghan refugees, half of whom are not registered, making it the third largest nation hosting refugees worldwide.