Subject of famous National Geographic cover convicted of having fake ID papers
The deportation was condemned by Amnesty International. “Pakistan’s decision to deport Sharbat Gula is a grave injustice. By sending her back to a country she hasn’t seen in a generation, her plight has become emblematic of Pakistan’s cruel treatment of Afghan refugees,” says its south Asia director, Champa Patel.
Late last month, Gula was taken into custody by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency and detained for living illegally in Pakistan. According to the BBC, she pleaded guilty to all charges in court and was given a 15-day prison sentence plus a fine of 110,000 rupees ($1,650). The photographer Steve McCurry, who took the famous National Geographic picture, raised concerns about her welfare.
After spending time in hospital, where she was treated for hepatitis C, Gula was handed over to Afghan authorities at the border along with her children. Earlier this week, she met the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani in Kabul. The presidential spokesman, Shah Hussain Murtazawi, told the Afghanistan Sun website that the government has provided housing for Gula’s family.