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Pakistan deports National Geographic 'Afghan girl'

'Afghanistan is only my birthplace, but Pakistan was my homeland and I always considered it as my own country,' Gula had said last week. Photograph: (AFP)

Peshawar, Pakistan Nov 09, 2016, 05.31 AM (IST)

The Afghan woman who shot to fame after she was put on the cover of the National Geographic magazine as a 12-year-old was deported by Pakistani officials on Wednesday, AFP reported.

Sharbat Gula was discharged from a hospital where she being treated for Hepatits C. She was later deported to the border overnight, AFP reported officials as saying. 

"We have deported Sharbat Gula to Afghanistan. She crossed the border to Afghanistan at around 2:30 am. She was also accompanied by her four children," Asmatullah Wazir, an administration official in the border town of Torkham, told AFP.

Gula was detained for a brief period for staying in Pakistan illegally using fake identity papers.

She first arrived in Pakistan as an orphan a few years after the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979. She was 12 years old and living in a refugee camp in Pakistan when she was put on the cover of the National Geographic.  

"Afghanistan is only my birthplace, but Pakistan was my homeland and I always considered it as my own country," Gula had told AFP only last week, adding that she was heartbroken at the prospect of leaving. 

(WION with inputs from AFP)

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