After she was turned away from Pakistan for not having legal documents to get into the country, it emerged that National Geographic’s famous “Afghan Girl” Sharbat Gula will be traveling to India for medical treatment.
Afghanistan’s ambassador to India Shaida Abdali said Sharbat Gula, of National Geographic “Afghan Girl” fame, will receive free-of-cost treatment in India. On Twitter, Abdali said she was “touched by Bengaluru-based Narayana hospital’s gesture to offer Sharbatgal free-of-cost treatment and hospitality.”
Sharbat Gula was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency of Pakistan on October 26 in Peshawar for forgery of a Pakistani Computerised National Identity Card.
She pleaded guilty to all charges against her and was sentenced to 15 days in jail and a fine of Rs 110,000 by a special anti-corruption and immigration court. Following the sentence, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial government offered to stop her deportation from the country but she refused to stay in Pakistan.
Gula has been the face of Afghanistan after an image of her as a teenage refugee was featured on National Geographic magazine’s cover in 1985, her striking green eyes peering out from a headscarf. The image became a symbol of Afghanistan’s suffering during the 1980s Soviet occupation and the US-backed mujahadeen insurgency against it.