Nat Geo's Afghan girl gets Pakistan IC

Nat Geo's Afghan girl gets Pakistan IC
Sharbat Gula, popularly known as the Afghan Girl.

Pakistan's National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) officials in Peshawar issued Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) to Afghan woman Sharbat Bibi and two men who are said to be her sons, official documents reveal.

Sources at Nadra's Hayatabad office told Dawn that high-ups in the Nadra issued three CNICs on a single day last year to the 46-year-old Sharbat Bibi, wife of Rehmat Gul, and her two sons Rauf Khan and Wali Khan in violation of rules and regulations.

"These people are so powerful; I don't know whether they have money or connections but they got three CNICs in one day," said a Nadra source.

In 1984, Sharbat moved to Peshawar along with her two sons and since then, she has been residing in the Nasir Bagh camp established for Afghan refugees. Earlier reports had said that Sharbat has three daughters. This is in contrast with the information on the Nadra form which maintains that she has two sons.

"They may not be her sons but this is a common practice among Afghan refugees whereby they list names of non-relatives as their children to obtain documents," said a Nadra source.

According to the Nadra form, Sharbat is said to be a permanent resident of Peshawar's Nothia Qadeem area.

"She lives here. We travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan depending on the security situation," said one of her relatives while speaking to Dawn.

It is unclear how long she has been in Pakistan or if she is a registered Afghan refugee.

An inquiry has been launched at Nadra with officials under fire for issuing CNICs to foreign nationals without legitimate documentation. When contacted, Nadra officials, refused to comment on the matter.

Registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan can obtain Proof of Registration (PoR) documentation.

However, it is unlawful to issue a CNIC card to Afghan nationals without adequate documentation and procedure to acquire Pakistani nationality. Last month, an accountability court sentenced two assistant directors of the Nadra to seven-year jail term for issuing bogus CNICs to Afghan refugees.

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