Sharbat Gula may arrive in India in the next few days to receive free treatment offered by a hospital in Bengaluru.
She became the icon of the hapless civilian trapped in a civil war after her photograph featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1985. Gula is now in her 40s and reportedly suffering from Hepatitis C and other ailments.
Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India Shaida Abdail praised the hospital’s gesture.
Touched by NARAYANA, hospital in Bangalore, offering the Iconic Sharbatgal free of cost treatment and hospitality: "friend in need"@MEAIndia— Dr Shaida Abdali (@ShaidaAbdali) 11 ноября 2016 г.
Some saw it as an unusual twist in India-Pakistan’s zero sum game in Afghanistan.
Pakistani military-intel insiders tell me Sharbat Gul was an India-backed Afghan spy. Now Indians are pandering to her. Hmm. https://t.co/ao51BZiHjr— F. Jeffery (@MrPolyatheist) 12 ноября 2016 г.
After 1985, Gula slipped into obscurity and briefly came into the limelight when the same photographer tracked her down as a care-worn adult. She made news again by being arrested by Pakistani authorities as part of a crackdown on illegals living in the country on fraudulent identity cards. At least 3,00,000 Afghan refugees currently live illegally in Pakistan, according to an estimate.