Nat Geo’s famed ‘Afghan Girl’ Sharbat Bibi was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday in Peshawar, an official said.

Bibi was arrested from her home for alleged forgery of a Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC), the FIA sources said. Bibi had Pakistani and Afghan ID cards in her possession, and both ID cards have been recovered from her, the FIA sources said.

“FIA arrested Sharbat Gula, an Afghan woman, today for obtaining a fake ID card,” Shahid Ilyas, an official of the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA), media reports revealed.

Ilyas said that FIA is also seeking three NADRA officials who were found responsible for issuing CNIC to Bibi, who have been at large since the fraud was detected.sharbat-bibi-2

He said Bibi faces seven to 14 years prison time and fine between $3,000 to $5,000 if convicted by court over fraud.

Sharbat Bibi has been charged under Section 419, 420 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 5(2) of Prohibition of Corruption Act.

 

 

An FIA official said the officer who issued the ID cards to Sharbat Bibi is now working as a deputy commissioner in customs and got bail-before-arrest to avoid arrest in the case.

Last year, NADRA issued three CNICs to Sharbat Bibi and two men who claimed to be her sons. Issuance of CNICs were in violation of the rules and procedures of NADRA.

NADRA’s vigilance department and an FIA official rejected information provided on the NADRA form as fake, and the FIA official ordered cancellation of CNICs of Sharbat and her alleged sons.sharbat bibi book cover

Details of the form had claimed that Sharbat Bibi had two sons. The official maintained that Sharbat Bibi has two daughters and a two-year-old son.

 

The official added that relatives present at the given address have refused to recognize two persons listed as her sons in the form.

An inquiry had been launched with NADRA officials under fire for issuing CNICs to foreign nationals without legitimate documentation.

Besides harassment by law enforcement agencies, there are reports about increased negative attitudes of the community towards refugees due to involvement of some of them in the crime and terrorism Sharbat bibi is one of them.

Farrukh Saeed

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