Nat Geo’s green-eyed Afghan girl arrested in Peshawar

26 Oct, 2016 3:04 pm

PESHAWAR (92 News) – Sharbat Bibi, better known to the world as the iconic ‘Afghan Girl’, was arrested by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) over alleged forgery in producing the Pakistani identty card.on Wednesday.

Bibi, now in her 40s, was arrested from her residence in the Nothia area of Pakistan’s Peshawar for being in illegal possession of a Pakistani ID card. The officials of Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), who had allegedly issued her the ID card illegally have also been suspended.

Pakistani officials say that Gula applied for a Pakistani identity card in Peshawar in April 2014, using the name Sharbat Bibi. She was one of thousands of Afghan refugees who managed to dodge Pakistan’s computerized system and to get an identity card.

The original image of Gula was taken in 1984 in a refugee camp in northwest Pakistan at the time of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

More than 350,000 Afghan refugees have returned to their war-torn homeland from Pakistan this year, UN data shows, with the torrent of people crossing the border expected to continue.

Pakistan has for decades provided safe haven for millions of Afghans who fled their country after the Soviet invasion of 1979.

Pakistan hosts 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees, according to UNHCR figures from earlier this year, making it the third-largest refugee hosting nation in the world. A further one million unregistered refugees are estimated to be in the country.

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