PESHAWAR, Pakistan – A Pakistani provincial minister says his administration should intervene with the central government to prevent a world-famous Afghan refugee from being deported.
Mustaq Ghani, the information minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said Sunday that his administration would request that federal authorities grant refugee status to Sharbat Gullam, saying it would improve Pakistan's image.
A court last Friday convicted Gulla of possessing forged identity papers; she received a 15-day jail term, a fine of 110,000 rupees (about $1,100) and was ordered to be deported.
Gulla gained international fame in 1984, after war photographer iconic Steve McCurry's portrait of her was published on the cover of National Geographic.
In 2014, she surfaced in Pakistan but went into hiding when authorities accused her of buying fake Pakistani documents.