Sharbat Gula made headlines as a child when she was photographed by Steve McCurry for the National Geographic cover. The Afghan woman once again made headlines when she was arrested in Pakistan on charges of fraud last week.
On October 26, Sharbat Gula was arrested in Pakistan for living on fake identity papers. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of Pakistan had been investigating fake IDs and they took her into custody once they realised that the Afghan refugee had fraudulent papers.
Gula has now been granted bail. At a press conference, Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said, "I think I will have to review this case because she is a woman and we should see it from a humanitarian angle."
However, he added, "But if we withdraw charges against her, deport her or give her a temporary visa to leave Pakistan, then we will have to take back cases against the officials who issued her fake ID card, they are real culprits and I do not want to let them off the hook in any manner."
Nisar Ali Khan also said that the FIA would arrange bail for her as soon as possible so that she would not be held in jail.
When he heard of Gula's arrest, photographer Steve McCurry took to Instagram to write, "Two hours ago, I got word from a friend in Peshawar, Pakistan, that Sharbat Gula has been arrested. We are doing everything we can to get the facts by contacting our colleagues and friends in the area."
"I am committed to doing anything and everything possible to provide legal and financial support for her and her family," he added.
McCurry shot Gula in the 1980s when she was a child at a refugee camp in Pakistan. That cover immortalised Gula and McCurry too.