Wednesday Oct 26, 2016
PESHAWAR: The green-eyed 'Afghan girl' who shot to global fame when a 1985 issue of National Geographic magazine published a haunting picture of her on its cover, was arrested in Peshawar on Tuesday.
Sharbat Gula was arrested by the FIA from the Nothia area for illegally possessing a Pakistani ID card. A court sent her on a two-day physical remand to the FIA.
Three National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) officials were also suspended for allegedly issuing her the ID card illegally.
Sharbat Gula, now in her 40s, was being investigated for the past few years by the Pakistani authorities who had discovered she was living in the country with fraudulent identity documents.
Photo from NADRA
Her portrait 'Afghan Girl' appeared on the June 1985 cover of the National Geographic magazine and is recognized as 'its most recognized cover'. Her intense stare at the camera and expressionless face likened her to the famous 'Mona Lisa' painting. Sharbat who was pictured outside a refugee camp became a symbol of the human cost of the Soviet War.
Steve McCurry, the National Geographic journalist who photographed her in 1984, later began a search for her. After several unsuccessful attempts he found her in Afghanistan 17 years later and confirmed her identity using iris recognition. She had never seen her picture; she first saw it in 2002.