The famous ‘Afghan girl’ with green eyes, that appeared on the cover of the National Geographic magazine in 1985 was arrested in Pakistan. The woman risks seven years in prison.
The refugee dubbed the ‘Mona Lisa of the Afghanistan war’ was photographed by Steve McCurry, who managed to capture her gorgeous green eyes.
According to the authorities, ‘Afghan Mona Lisa’ was arrested in her home in Peshawar.
Sharbat Gula was accused by the Pakistani government that she falsified her personal documents in order to obtain Pakistani citizenship. Now she is facing up to seven years in prison.
A spokesman for the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), a department that deals with these cases confirmed the arrest.
‘Our team, along with the police, raided her house and found Afghan and Pakistanis identity documents’, stated the FIA director Imran Shahid.
Her family fled to Pakistan along with thousands of Afghan families after the Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan in 1979.
McCurry photographed Sharbat Gula in December 1984 when the girl was only 12. At that time, Sharbat was living in a refugee camp located on the border with Pakistan. Her picture appeared on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985 and was extensively used for publicizing the plight of the refugees.
McCurry didn’t manage to discover her name, despite his numerous trips to Afghanistan. Finally, the photographer found her 17 years later, in 2002, in Peshawar.
Last year, the Pakistani government began an operation against Afghan refugees who used false documents to obtain Pakistani citizenship. Then Sharbat Gula’s name appeared in the investigation.