Gulla and her four children were handed over to Afghan authorities at the Torkham border crossing, about 60 kilometres (37 miles) northwest of the Pakistani city of Peshawar, before dawn Wednesday.Earlier, a visibly unhappy Gulla, clad in a blue, all-encompassing traditional women's burqa, and her children were taken from Peshawar to the border in a convoy, which included several Afghan officials, said a local government administrator Fayaz Khan."The woman who stands next to me became an iconic figure representing Afghan deprivation, Afghan hope and Afghan aspirations," President Ghani said."All of us are inspired by her courage and determination." The portrait of Sharbat Gula, whose sea-green eyes and piercing gaze, made her an international symbol of refugees facing an uncertain future, first appeared on the cover of National Geographic in 1985.Afghanistan itself is not on the list and Team Afghanistan's robot, unlike its creators, has been allowed entry to the United States.Asked by Reuters on Tuesday why the girls were banned, a US State Department spokesperson cited regulations prohibiting the agency from discussing individual visa cases.Most of the female team members were either infants or not yet born at the time of the US-backed military intervention in Afghanistan in 2001 that toppled the Taliban regime – whose ultra-hardline interpretation of sharia (Islamic law) banned girls from school, women from working outside the home and all females from leaving home without a male relative.
Khan, the local official, said Gulla was to be flown to the Afghan capital of Kabul later in the day, where she was to attend a function in her honour hosted by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Following the sentence, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial government offered to stop her deportation from the country but she refused to stay in Pakistan.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last week personally welcomed her upon her arrival in Afghanistan, offering her a furnished apartment after she was deported by Pakistan.
So the six team members will watch the ball-sorting machine compete in Washington D. via video link during the July 16-18 event from their hometown of Herat, in western Afghanistan, according to the FIRST Global contest organisers.
"We still don't know the reason why we were not granted visas, because other countries participating in the competition have been given visas," said 14-year-old Fatemah Qaderyan, part of the team that made two journeys to the US Embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul to apply for their papers. we did our best and we hope that our robot could get a position along other robots from other countries," Qaderyan said.