National Geographic’s iconic ‘Afghan Girl’ arrested in Pakistan


By: Rob Smith/Veuer

The woman who was photographed in an iconic 1984 National Geographic magazine cover was arrested in Pakistan.

Sharbat Gula has been arrested for living in Pakistan with phony ID paperwork.

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The National Database Registration Authority says the Afghan refugee applied for a Pakistani ID card in 2014 under a fake name.

Officials have detected over 60,000 fake ID cards, and 8 members of the National Database Registration Authority were arrested.

Pakistan is home to the third highest number of refugees in the world, though UN data shows that over 350,000 Afghan refugees returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan this year.

Gula faces up to 14 years in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted.

Related: Also see more about the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan:

MATTANI, NORTH-WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE, PAKISTAN – DECEMBER 22, 2009: New recruits being trained under the authority of Abdul Rehman, who claimed they were part of the Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamist militant group, however this claim was later denied upon verification by senior contacts within that group. Part of their training program was a 15km hike with weapons training. The best recruits will be sent on to a commando training camp in Kashmir, before taking up jihad in Afghanistan, India or Iraq. Lashkar-e-Taiba is a Pakistani jihadist group created in the 1980s to fight in Afghanistan, and especially in Indian Kashmir. Their members have often claimed they were trained by former military officers. They were also allegedly employed by the Pakistani intelligence agency called the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in India and Afghanistan. They were officially banned in 2001, following an attack on parliament in New Delhi, India, so they regrouped under the name Jama’at-ud-Da’wah. It is widely claimed that the group was responsible for the Mumbai bombings in November 2008, which killed nearly 200 people. Since then, they have been on the UN list of terrorist organizations. The US authorities liken them to al-Qaeda, and as much of a security risk. The Pakistani authorities in Islamabad state that they have dismantled Lashkar-e-Taiba, however overseas intelligence services state this is not possible. The group’s fighters are implicated in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and India, however they are not currently in battle with the Pakistani authorities, due to a supposed good relationship with the military there. They fight alongside the Taliban against NATO forces, and are the best trained and most battle-hardened fighters in the region. Their training is very military and regimented, compared to that of the Taliban which is more basic. (Photo by Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images)

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