A Pakistani court on Wednesday refused bail to the Afghan woman who became famous after she was featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine as a child, reported PTI. Sharbat Gula was reportedly arrested for possessing a fraudulent Computerised National Identity Card and being in possession of both Pakistani and Afghan identity documents. The Peshawar court had reserved its verdict in the case on Tuesday.

Her bail application was rejected even though Pakistan's interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had said on Monday, "I think I will have to review this case because she is a woman and we should see it from a humanitarian angle." Khan had said that that the administration wanted to penalise officials who had issued the fake documents. "If we withdraw charges against her, deport her, or give her a temporary visa to leave Pakistan, then we will have to take back cases against the officials. They are the real culprits," he had said.

Pakistan has recently launched a drive against people with fraudulent identity cards. The country is currently home to an estimated three million Afghan refugees, most of whom are unregistered. The woman's photograph, captured by Steve McCurry at the Nasir Bagh refugee camp in Peshawar in 1984, won international acclaim and was compared to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting. McCurry found her again in 2002. Her image had quickly become symbolic of the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

Responding to reports about the arrest, McCurry had said on Instagram, "I am committed to doing anything and everything possible to provide legal and financial support for her and her family." The woman faces upto 14 years in prison. The mother of four is suffering form Hepatitis C, and her husband died four years ago, The Times of India reported.