The photographer who took the iconic National Geographic cover shot of a then 12-year-old, green-eyed Afghan refugee in 1985 has vowed to do “anything possible” to help her after it was revealed that she was arrested in Pakistan.
The BBC reports that Sharbat Gula, was arrested in Pakistan for holding fake identiy papers and is facing up to 14 years in jail.
After hearing of her arrest, photographer Steve McCurry took to Instagram, saying “we are doing everything we can to get the facts”.
"I am committed to doing anything and everything possible to provide legal and financial support for her and her family.
"I object to this action by the authorities in the strongest possible terms. She has suffered throughout her entire life."
An official of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), a department that deals with forgery cases, confirmed the arrest.
"Our team together with police raided her house and recovered both Pakistani and Afghan IDs," said FIA director Imran Shahid according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Gula, now in her 40s, and her family fled to Pakistan along with thousands of in 1979 when Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan.
In 2015, the Pakistan government began a crackdown on Afghan refugees using forged identity documents.
There are believed to be some 1.4 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan, with a further 1 million unregistered.