Special court summons Sharbat Gula

Updated November 04, 2016


PESHAWAR: A special anti-corruption and immigration court has summoned National Geographic-famed Afghan woman, Sharbat Gula, today (Friday) after the Federal Investigation Agency filed interim challan (charge sheet) against her over forgery to secure Pakistani Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC).

Judge Farah Jamshed Khan, who has dismissed bail petition of Sharbat Gula on Nov 2, has directed that the suspect should be produced on Friday, official sources informed.

An official in the know said the FIA had submitted the interim challan on Nov 1 as it had already completed investigation against Sharbat Gula, who was arrested by the agency on Oct 26 from her house in Nauthia area.

He said the challan pointed out that the suspect had already admitted her guilt during her interrogation.

FIA submits interim challan against her over forgery

The official added that the Afghan woman had claimed that her late husband, Rehmat Gul, had earlier made a manual national identity card for her in 1988.

He added that Sharbat Gula admitted during interrogation that she had later visited the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) offices outside which she met an agent, who made her CNIC after receiving some money.

An expert said it was up to the trial court to decide whether it was going to start trial of the suspect on the basis of interim challan or to wait for the final charge sheet.

He added that there was a possibility of the suspect pleading guilty as her lawyer, too, had admitted in her bail petition that she had a Pakistani CNIC.

The FIA has registered the FIR on Oct 20 against three former Nadra employees for allegedly issuing CNICs to Ms Gula and two other afghans shown as her sons.

The FIR says after the completion of inquiry and checking of Nadra records, it had been established that three employees of Nadra Peshawar offices including Palwasha Afridi, Mohsin Ehsan and Emad fraudulently issued Pakistani CNICs to Afghan nationals, including Sharbat Gula, Wali Khan and Rauf Khan.

The officials were charged under sections 409, 419, 420, 468, 471 and 109 of the Pakistan Panel Code, Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and Section 30 of the Nadra Ordinance.

Palwasha Afridi and Mohsin Ahsan has secured pre-arrest bail from a court in the case, the third official has been absconding.

Meanwhile, a delegation of civil society activists from KP and Fata visited Lady Reading Hospital to meet Sharbat Gula, who was admitted there on Wednesday.

The delegation consisted of chairman of Tribal NGOs Consortium Zar Ali Khan Afridi, coordinator of Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network Taimur Kamal, noted politician Nazeef Khan Utmankhel of Ashnaghar, Irfan khan and Malik Niaz of the National Party, human rights activist Masood Shah and woman rights’ activist Sana Gulzar.

The policemen deployed there didn’t allow visitors to see the Afghan woman. However, Sana Gulzar was allowed to present a bouquet to Sharbat Gula.

The delegates said Sharbat Gula was not an ordinary woman and that she was a celebrity known as ‘Afghan Mona Lisa’ after the appearance of her photo on the cover of National Geographic Magazine, first in 1985 and then in 2002.

They demanded that the government order her release by withdrawing case against her.

Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2016