KP govt to stop deportation of Nat Geo’s ‘Afghan girl’ Sharbat Gula


Nat Geo’s famed ‘Afghan girl’ Sharbat Gula will not be deported from Pakistan, a government source said on Sunday.

According to the source, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has decided to write to the federal government to stop deportation of Sharbat Gula, who was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Oct 26 from Nauthia for illegally possessing a Pakistani computerised national identity card (CNIC).

On Friday, Sharbat Gula was sentenced to 15 days in prison and fined Rs 110,000 by the Peshawar High Court after she pleaded guilty to the charges against her. She was to be deported immediately from Pakistan after the completion of her sentence.

However, the KP government is to request the Interior Department to stop Gula’s deportation. The provincial government will reportedly ask for Gula to be allowed to return to Afghanistan with respect.

Sharbat Gula, who fled Afghanistan during Soviet occupation, shot to fame after her photograph as a young refugee was published on the cover of National Geographic magazine back in 1985. 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.