Tags: sharbat gula | afghan | girl | deported | pakistan

Sharbat Gula, Grown Up 'Afghan Girl,' Deported From Pakistan

Image: Sharbat Gula, Grown Up 'Afghan Girl,' Deported From Pakistan

Sharbat Gula appears at the Presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2016. A Pakistani government official says National Geographic's famed green-eyed "Afghan Girl" has been deported to Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

By    |   Wednesday, 09 Nov 2016 02:13 PM

Sharbat Gula, the Afghan woman who became famous when she was featured on a 1985 cover of National Geographic magazine, has been deported from Pakistan after she was convicted of holding fake identification papers.

Gula, 44, nicknamed the "Afghan Girl" when she appeared on the magazine at 12, was remembered for her captivating green eyes.

According to BBC News, Gula and her four children were recently handed over to border security after serving a 15-day sentence in a Pakistani hospital where she was treated for hepatitis C. She had pleaded guilty after being arrested in Peshawar on Oct. 23 and fined $1,100.

Gula was welcomed back into Afghanistan, meeting with President Ashraf Ghani, The New York Times reported Wednesday. She was given a government-provided apartment in Kabul, according to Shah Hussain Murtazawi, a presidential spokesman, noted the Times.

Murtazawi said the Afghan government had arranged for Gula's release from prison and return to Afghanistan. The Afghan government has been encouraging Afghans to return home through its policies, noted the newspaper.

Amnesty International, though, issued a statement criticizing Pakistan for deporting her.

"Pakistan's decision to deport Sharbat Gula is a grave injustice," wrote Champa Patel, Amnesty International's South Asia director. "For decades, she was known as the world's most famous refugee and seen as a symbol of Pakistan's status as a generous host.

"Now, by sending her back to a country she hasn't seen in a generation and her children have never known, her plight has become emblematic of Pakistan's cruel treatment of Afghan refugees. By forcing Afghan refugees to return across the border into the arms of an increasingly deadly conflict, Pakistan is in breach of the principle of non-refoulement. It is putting the lives of vulnerable people at risk of serious human rights abuses," the statement continued.

National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry, who took the original picture of Gula, tracked her down 18 years later to photograph her as an adult living in Pakistan.

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Sharbat Gula, the Afghan woman who became famous when she was featured on a 1985 cover of National Geographic magazine, has been deported from Pakistan after she was convicted of holding fake identification papers.
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