Nat Geo’s famed Afghan girl denied bail
A Pakistani court on Wednesday denied bail to an Afghan woman, who was immortalised on the cover of National Geographic magazine in the 1980s and arrested last week on fraud charges, days after the Interior Minister had indicated that she might soon be released on humanitarian grounds.
Sharbat Gula, who attained fame on the cover of an issue of the National Geographic magazine, has been in custody since October 26 for allegedly having obtained fake identity papers to stay in Pakistan as a refugee.
The special court in Peshawar had reserved its verdict a day earlier and on Wednesday rejected her bail application citing lack of evidence to prove her Pakistani citizenship.
The green-eyed Gula was arrested from her Peshawar residence for alleged forgery of a Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC).
During the bail hearing yesterday, Gula’s lawyer had told the court that his client is the sole bread earner of her family and is suffering from Hepatitis C. Earlier this week, Gula was sent to prison on judicial remand by a local court. She faces up to 14 years in jail.