Tags: afghan | girl | sharbat gula | national geographic | investigated

'Afghan Girl,' of Iconic 'NatGeo' Cover, Found in Pakistan With Fake ID

Image: 'Afghan Girl,' of Iconic 'NatGeo' Cover, Found in Pakistan With Fake ID
In this July 27, 2005 file photo, Steve McCurry's iconic portrait, of a young Afghan refugee named Sharbat Gula, is on display on New York fine art Gallery. (Tim Wimborne/Reuters/Landov)  

By    |   Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 03:12 PM

Sharbat Gula, who became known as the “Afghan girl” after her iconic image appeared in the mid-1980s on the cover of “National Geographic," is being investigated by Pakistani officials for improper documentation.

Agence France-Presse reported that officials claim Gula applied for a Pakistani identity card under the name of Sharbat Bibi. If it's true, she would be one of thousands of refugees who circumvented Parkistan’s system to obtain an identity card.

"This is one of the thousands of cases which was detected last year and sent to the FIA. We are waiting for the findings of the inquiry," Faik Ali Chachar, spokesman for the National Database and Registration Authority, told AFP. "Our vigilance department detected (the) Sharbat Bibi case in August 2014 and sent it to FIA for further investigation the same month."

It is not uncommon for Afghan refugees to attempt to use fake documentation to get a Pakistani ID, Chachar said.

In registering with the national database, Gula gave her birthdate as January 1969 and Peshawar as her birthplace.

“On Tuesday the national media published the photograph from Gula’s computerized national identity card (CNIC), a vital document that she should not have been able to acquire as a foreign national,” The Guardian wrote. “That one of the most famous of the nearly 3 million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan should have been able to get the card underlined for many the corruption that riddles much of government.”

Two men who are reported to be Gula’s sons also received the IDs, The Guardian said.

Chachar told the newspaper that as many as 22,000 refugees may have illegal identification. It is estimated that as many as 2.5 million Afghan refugees remain in Pakistan, although many returned to their home after the Taliban regime was overturned in 2001.

The refugees are not welcome in Pakistan, where many citizens blame them for crowded schools, mosques, and streets, The Guardian said.

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Sharbat Gula, who became known as the “Afghan girl” after her iconic image appeared in the mid-1980s on the cover of “National Geographic," is being investigated by Pakistani officials for improper documentation.
afghan, girl, sharbat gula, national geographic, investigated
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2015-12-26
Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 03:12 PM
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