"Afghan Girl" Arrested in Pakistan
November 2, 2016
by Steve McCurry
Sharbat Gula, the “Afghan Girl” who’s iconic portrait by Steve McCurry appeared on the cover of National Geographic in 1985, has been arrested in Pakistan for fraud. Authorities claim that Gula had applied for an ID card using a false name, possibly to work-around Pakistan’s computerized database and/or to help two other Afghan refugees who she claimed were her sons. If found guilty, she could face up to 14 years in prison. Authorities claim that there are at least 60,000 ID cards in the hands of foreigners living in Pakistan. Currently, approximately 2 million Afghan refugees live in Pakistan but only 1.4 are registered.
McCurry first photographed Gula in 1984 while visiting a refugee camp in north-west Pakistan. In 2002, after years of searching, he found her living back in Afghanistan.
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