Court dismisses Afghan woman Sharbat Gula’s bail plea

PESHAWAR: The Afghan woman known internationally as the “Afghan Girl” was denied bail by a court in Peshawar today (Wednesday).

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“The petition filed in the special court was dismissed,” defence lawyer Mubashar Nazar said.

Sharbat Gula, who grew up in a refugee camp and is now in her 40s, was arrested two weeks ago by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for illegally possessing a Pakistani computerised national identity card.

She faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted of fraud.

Earlier on Sunday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar agreed to review her case.

“I think I will have to review this case because she is a woman and we should see it from a humanitarian angle,” Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told a press conference Sunday.

“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,” he said.

Gula was for years an unnamed celebrity after an image of her a teenage Afghan refugee was featured on National Geographic magazine s cover in 1985, her striking green eyes peering out from a headscarf with a mixture of ferocity and pain.

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