National Geographic's 'Afghan Girl' Arrested

Sharbat Gulla allegedly possessed fake Pakistan ID
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2016 11:19 AM CDT
National Geographic's 'Afghan Girl' Arrested
Pakistan's Inam Khan, owner of a book shop shows a copy of a magazine with the photograph of Afghan refugee woman Sharbat Gulla, from his rare collection in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016.   (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

Sharbat Gulla, better known as the iconic "Afghan Girl" who stared out of a 1985 National Geographic cover with her haunting green eyes, has been arrested. A Pakistan investigator says that Gulla was arrested during a raid Wednesday at a home in Peshawar, Pakistan, during which she was found to have a fake Pakistani identity card, the AP reports. Gulla, who was an Afghan refugee of about 12 years old when war photographer Steve McCurry photographed her in 1984 in a Pakistan refugee camp, has been the target of a two-year investigation, the investigator says. She could face as many as 14 years in prison.

USA Today notes that Peshawar, along the Afghan border, has hosted more than a million Afghan refugees, but Pakistan has been cracking down on forged ID cards. When it emerged last year that Gulla allegedly had a fake card, the investigator says, she went into hiding and a few officials were fired for giving her the card. McCurry had actually tracked Gulla down in 2002, finding her living back in Afghanistan at the time with her husband and three daughters. (More Pakistan stories.)

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