Afghan Mona Lisa behind bars in Pakistan

| 2 November 2016, 15:59

A court in Pakistan has rejected bail plea of iconic Afghan woman Sharbat Gula who has been arrested for forging Pakistani identity card.

Sharbat Gula; also known as the Afghan Mona Lisa rose to fame when a National Geographic photographer published her  mesmerizing picture over three decades ago. The Afghan government has expressed disappointment that despite assurances given by the Interior Minister Chaudhri Nisar Ali Khan and other Pakistani government leaders the bail to free Sharbatgula from incarceration in Peshawar was rejected.

 The arrest of Sharbagula, one of the world’s most recognized and Afghanistan’s most beloved image had already hurt feelings of all Afghans, and today’s ruling was a further disregard to those feelings and the bilateral people to people relations and the “winning of hearts and minds” that we claim to be important and therefore our aim, Dr. Omar Zakhilwal, Afghan Ambassador in Pakistan has said.

Despite being world famous, Sharbatgula is a poor widow and the sole head of her family, comprising 4 children. She is sick, suffering from hepatitis which claimed the lives of her husband and elder daughter in the recent past.

Sharbat Gula was arrested by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) last month on the charges of illegally possessing a Pakistani computerised national identity card (CNIC). Sharbat Gula fled Afghanistan during Soviet invasion in the 1980s.