Thirty years after photo, 'Afghan girl' found in Pakistan

Published February 26th, 2015 - 06:06 GMT

Then-12-year-old girl who made magazine history, immortalized in a photo and forever known as the green-eyed "Afghan girl," was found living in Pakistan on fraudulent identity papers, AFP reported. 

Thirty years ago the National Geographic photo was taken by Steve McCurry, who found the woman in 2002 living in a remote Afghan village. Sharbat Gula was married to a baker and had three daughters. 

Gula later became one of thousands of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. Authorities found her under the name of Sharbat Bibi in northeastern Pakistan near Peshawar, AFP reported, after she had dodged the country's system to receive an identity card.

"This is one of the thousands of cases which was detected last year and sent to the (Federal Investigation Agency). We are waiting for the findings of the inquiry,” said Faik Ali Chachar, a spokesman for the National Database and Registration Authority, to the AFP. 

When an AFP reporter visited the Peshawar neighborhood, residents said Gulga had been working there with her husband in a bakery but left a month ago. 

Pakistani authorities said the government only issues identity cards to Pakistanis and all of the documents Gula used had been fake. Chachar said about 23,000 identity cards obtained by Afghan refugees had been blocked in the past 12 years. 


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