Afghan govt to ensure release of Sharbat Gulah

Kabul to take matter up with Pakistan

Tariq Saeed

Peshawar—The government of Afghanistan is likely to take up the case of Afghan woman Sharbat Gulah, who mesmerized the World in 1985 and was arrested from Peshawar on Wednesday, on the charge of holding illegal Pakistan identity card. Kabul would ask Pakistan to release her. It may be recalled that Sharbat Gullah, the green-eyed Afghan girl who rose to the global fame after her image captured by a National Geographic photographer and National Geographic magazine published a haunting picture of her on its cover page some thirty years back, was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Peshawar for claiming Pakistani Nationality through forged NIC. The Afghan authorities have expressed concern over the arrest of Sharbat Gullah. An official at the Afghan Consulate in Peshawar told a private news channel that Afghan government will pursue the case in a Pakistani court and provide a lawyer and legal assistance to Sharbat Gula, who is an Afghan national.
“She is an Afghan national and our embassy in Islamabad is going to take up the case with the Foreign Office for early release of Sharbat Gulah”. Said the Afghan Consulate official who preferred anonymity.
The official quoting family members, said Sharbat Gulah, who is in the custody of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and is in her forties , was not feeling well and they were also worried about her health The NADRA had issued three CNICs to Sharbat Gulah and two men who claimed to be her sons through fraudulent practice with the connivance of senior officials in the year 2015 as it was later found that issuance of CNICs was in violation of the rules and adopted procedures of the NADRA .NADRA’s vigilance department and an FIA official had rejected the information provided on the NADRA form as fake, and the FIA official ordered cancellation of CNICs of Afghan Lady and her alleged sons who also reported to be imposters and not her sons.
Her portrait ‘Afghan Girl’ appeared on the June 1985 most recognized cover of the National Geographic magazine. Her intense stare at the camera and expressionless face likened her to the famous ‘Mona Lisa’ painting. Sharbat who was pictured outside a refugee camp became a symbol of the human cost of the Soviet War.

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