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‘Afghan Girl’ in 1985 National Geographic Photo Is Arrested in Pakistan

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An Afghan woman whose photograph as a young refugee with piercing green eyes was published on the cover of National Geographic in 1985, becoming a symbol of the turmoil of war in Afghanistan, was arrested on Wednesday in Pakistan on charges of fraudulently obtaining national identity cards. The woman, Sharbat Gula, was arrested at her residence in the northwestern city of Peshawar after more than a year of investigation, said Shahid Ilyas, the assistant director of the Federal Investigation Authority. “We raided the house and picked her up,” he said. “It took us a while to collect all the evidence against her, and the officials involved in helping her and her two sons get Pakistani national identity cards.” He added, “We have the evidence now, and we are going to go for prosecution.” The arrest came as the Pakistani authorities were cracking down on Afghans with illegal national identity cards.

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