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Deported From Pakistan, Nat Geo's 'Afghan Girl' Sharbat Gula Comes To India For Treatment

Sharbat, who's in her 40s now, suffers from Hepatitis C.

14/11/2016 11:59 AM IST | Updated 14/11/2016 12:51 PM IST
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Mohammad Ismail / Reuters
Sharbat Gula, the green-eyed "Afghan Girl" whose 1985 photo in National Geographic became a symbol of her country's wars.

Remember that "Afghan girl" from the cover photo of a National Geographic issue? She is coming to India for a free medical treatment.

On Saturday, Ambassador of Afghanistan to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali tweeted that the iconic "Afghan girl" would be receiving free treatment in India.

Sharbat Gula, whose striking green eyes were captured in an image taken by photographer Steve McCurry in a refugee camp in Pakistan in 1985 was deported from Pakistan earlier this month. According to reports, she was accused of living in Pakistan on fraudulent identity papers.

Sharbat, who's in her 40s now, suffers from Hepatitis C. She is now scheduled to travel to Bengaluru to receive treatment.

After she pleaded guilty to all charges against her, she was sentenced to 15 days in jail and a fine of Rs 110,000 by a special anti-corruption and immigration court.

However, following the sentence, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government offered to stop her deportation from the country but Sharbat refused to stay in Pakistan.

As a 20-year-old, Sharbat had became a symbol of Afghanistan's suffering during the 1980s Soviet occupation and US-backed mujahideen insurgency against it. The photograph became so iconic that it was likened to Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa.

While, the Ambassador of Afghanistan tweeted saying that Sharbat will be treated in a hospital in Bengaluru, sources at Narayana Health City told The Hindu said that they had not received confirmation on whether or not she would be coming to the hospital for treatment.

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