National Geographic's famed ''Afghan Girl'' arrested in Pakistan for forgery

Sharbat Bibi became famously known as the `Afghan Girl` when National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry captured her photograph in 1984.

Last Updated: Oct 26, 2016, 15:19 PM IST
National Geographic's famed ''Afghan Girl'' arrested in Pakistan for forgery
Pic courtsey: www.nationalgeographic.com

Islamabad: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday arrested National Geographic`s famed `Afghan Girl` Sharbat Bibi in Pakistan`s Peshawar city.

As per FIA sources, Bibi was arrested from her home for forgery of a Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC).

Notably, Bibi has dual Pakistani and Afghan nationality, and both ID cards have been recovered from her, a report in Dawn online said.

An FIA official said the officer who had issued the ID cards to Sharbat Bibi was now working as a deputy commissioner in customs and got bail-before-arrest to avoid arrest in the case.

Last year, National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) issued three CNICs to Sharbat Bibi and two men who claimed to be her sons. Issuance of CNICs were in violation to the rules and procedures of NADRA.

The official added that relatives present at the given address have refused to recognise two persons listed as her sons in the form.

An inquiry had been launched with NADRA officials under fire for issuing CNICs to foreign nationals without legitimate documentation, Dawn online noted.

Sharbat Bibi became famously known as the `Afghan Girl` when National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry captured her photograph at the Nasir Bagh refugee camp situated on the edge of Peshawar in 1984 and identified her as Sharbat Gula.

She gained worldwide recognition when her image was featured on the cover of the June 1985 issue of National Geographic Magazine at a time when she was approximately 12-year-old.

She remained anonymous for years after her first photo made her an icon around the world and until she was discovered by National Geographic in 2002.

After a 17-year search, McCurry tracked Gula down to a remote Afghan village in 2002 where she was living married to a baker and the mother of three daughters.

(With Agency inputs)