Letter to Amin-ur-Rehman

Mohammad Ismail Sloan
917 Old Trents Ferry Road
Lynchburg, Virginia 24503

December 16, 1981

Amin-ur-Rehman Chughtay
A.D.I.S. I.R.D.P. Markaz
Chitral District

Dear Brother:

Aslaimo Alaikum.

I hope that you and your family are well and the same for our family in Damik. Please give my saloms to everyone.

I arrived back in America on September 19, 1981. As I had generally anticipated prior to my return, the situation here is extremely bad. However, I had never imagined that it would turn out to be as bad as it is. Since my arrival here, I have sat down many times and started to a write a long letter to you explaining the situation in full. However, every few days new developments have caused the situation to change dramatically and, therefore, I have been required to start a new letter over and over again many times. The letter I am sending you now is essentially a hodgepodge of all those unfinished letters combined together.

In summary, the situation is this: Honzagool gave birth to a healthy baby daughter, approximately 8 pounds 11 ounces, at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital on October 15, 1981. The girl has been given the name Shamema Honza Gool. Also, Honzagool has got a lot of money these days. That is the end of the good news.

Frankly, the rest of the news is so bad, unbelievable, horrible and terrifying that if you are reading this letter aloud you should stop now. Although, as a matter of principle, I believe that the family of Honzagool has the right to know exactly what is going on here, I will leave it to your discretion as to how much you feel you should reveal to the mother and other family members of Honzagool because it is pointless to alarm them if there is nothing they can do to help the situation. At the same time, I want to assure you that as I had promised, I will do everything in my power to return Honzagool to Chitral as soon as possible. I have already notified your brother, Aziz-ur-Rehman, of this through an intermediary, and I am ready to take her today, if she is ready to go. However, I am sorry to say that Aziz-ur-Rehman apparently has nothing to do anymore with Honzagool and cannot control her in any way. In fact, he has completely disappeared. Sher Malik also has little further connection with Honzagool. Rather, Honzagool has gone completely wild and is living with our daughter on government welfare in the house of an American Negro man who calls himself Shaikh Abdullah Awadallah Al-Bruhania at 312 East 187th Street, Apt. 2B, Bronx, New York, 10458. He is a converted Muslim and his pre-Islamic name is kept secret. Honzagool's presence there was apparently arranged by Fatima, the wife of Sher Malik. I have not been able to see my wife, except three times in court, and threats have been made by the followers of this "Shaikh" that I will be killed if I go to her. The Shaikh claims that he has corresponded with you and you have informed him that you are fully supporting him and he is authorized by you to continue his efforts to keep my wife and child away from me. Aziz-ur-Rehman, prior to his disappearance, also independently claimed that he had received recent letters from you authorizing him to continue his nefarious activities and that the tape recording I brought of Honzagool's mother is "false" and not to be believed. I would not be willing to give any credence to these claims were it not for the fact that since my return to America I have not received any letters from you, although I sent you two telegrams and I have received many letters from other people in Chitral. As a result, it seems that there is no possibility that I can be reunited with my wife so that I can return her to Chitral, except through court action which I am presently prosecuting. I realize that you have no doubt received letters from Shaikh Abdullah Awadallah and Aziz-ur-Rehman which paint entirely different pictures of the situation, and you will have to decide whether to believe them or believe me.

I have already sent you a telegram asking you urgently to send the mother of Honzagool to America. I realize that because of the purdah system and numerous other complicating factors, especially the fact that the mother of Honzagool is an older woman who is illiterate and has never in her life traveled far from the immediate vicinity of her house, you will probably find it impossible to send her. However, after you read this letter perhaps you will agree that the presence of Honzagool's mother in America is the only way to save an otherwise tragic situation. My own mother is in full agreement with me on this point. Of course, it would also be good if I could return Honzagool to Chitral, but that seems nearly impossible at this point as she has stated in court that she is not willing to go back there.

As you will recall, I told you previously that the reason I was not willing to bring Honzagool to Chitral last summer was that she was pregnant and I wanted to insure that our baby would be born in America and be an American citizen. I promised to return Honzagool to you and her family after she had had the baby. Now, at least, I have accomplished my first aim in this regard, but in the process Honzagool has gotten completely out of my control, so I have no power to bring her back. Even Aziz, who himself has lost all control of the situation, says that now that Honzagool has had the baby she must remain in America for the time being. Therefore, our positions have become completely reversed, as before he was demanding her return and I was insisting that she stay here. Any influence you can bring to bear in this regard, through your letter writing, would be appreciated.

As I told you in Chitral, although you were disbelieving, before I left America Aziz had taken Honzagool away from me and had informed me by telephone that he was demanding that I divorce her and would never allow her to return to me. I had expected that when I returned to America I would find Honzagool to be either with Sher Malik or with Aziz. I had hoped to contact her somehow and to use the tape recording which we had made of Honzagool's mother to induce her to return to me and behave as a wife should towards her husband. However, after my arrival here and three weeks intensive search for both Honzagool and Aziz, during which I paid $600 to a private detective agency and spent all my days and nights going to hospitals and other places where I thought I might find Honzagool, I finally located her as the result of a court case which the followers of the Shaikh brought against me to try to stop me from looking for her.

It turned out that the situation of Honzagool is more incredible and fantastic than anything I could have dreamed or imagined. Frankly, I think that the other members of her family will be greatly disturbed, and in some ways unnecessarily so since Honzagool is in good health and well off financially, if they learn of her actual position.

Since at least the month of July Honzagool has nothing any more to do with either Aziz or with Sher Malik, although they both know where she is. Rather, for the past approximately four or five months she has been living by herself in a spacious apartment in the Bronx, but far from the house of Sher Malik. She is collecting welfare, which means that her rent is paid by the government and also the government has been providing her with money, food stamps and other forms of economic assistance. All of the medical and hospital expenses for her and the baby are also being paid for by the government, including the cost of giving birth to her child. The reason for this is that the black people who are controlling her cleverly kept secret the fact that she is married to me and negotiated her with the governmental authorities as a single woman giving birth to an illegitimate child. As you perhaps know, the United States government provides very generous economic benefits to poor people, such as Honzagool, and the black people with whom she has become associated, which is the reason that it is difficult to get these people to take jobs and work for a living. My mother had been regularly sending checks to Aziz, not realizing that Aziz had really nothing to do with Honzagool any more, and he had apparently forwarded these checks to Honzagool, but she had not yet cashed all of them when my mother last inquired. However, Honzagool said in court that she has not seen Aziz for a long time

When I found out where Honzagool was I naturally tried to approach her house and quickly found myself surrounded by about eight black men who advanced from all sides. It turned out that these were Black Muslims and many months earlier one of the women of their organization claimed to have found Honzagool on the street, beaten and bleeding, near Sher Malik's apartment. Honzagool was crying and said that she had no place to go. Fatima, the wife of Sher Malik, was with her. This Black Muslim woman, who calls herself Nadia but her original name is Agnes Clarke, claims to have taken Honzagool home with her, obtained medical attention for her, found a place for her to live with the Shaikh and over a period of months had befriended her and, among other things, had made all of the applications to the government to obtain the considerable financial aid which Honzagool is receiving. This same lady was also directed by the Shaikh to start the court case against me to try to stop me from trying to see Honzagool and ultimately my child. Apparently Honzagool has told her and the other Black Muslims who are helping her that I beat her and mistreated her. The claim is made that when she was found bleeding on the street in the South Bronx near Sher Malik's house that she had been beaten by me. Actually, as you know, I left America for Pakistan in the middle of April, 1981, some days after Honzagool had left my house or had been taken away from my house by Aziz while I was sleeping. According to Sher Malik, she thereafter lived for one month in Sher Malik' s house, fully supported by Sher Malik without financial assistance from Aziz, until he told Aziz to take her away from there because he was unwilling to support her any more. Also, she was hospitalized for this bleeding she had received as the result of a supposed beating at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital on July 17, 1981. Therefore, I believe that logically what must have happened is that after Aziz took her from my house he took her to the house of Sher Malik, as he said that he was going to do, where she stayed for one month. After that, Sher Malik sent her away, so perhaps she stayed with Aziz for some time, unless she went directly from Sher Malik's house to live with the Shaikh. It seems likely that at some point Aziz must have beaten her severely, and consequently she must have run back to the house of Sher Malik, but Sher Malik refused to accept her back in his house, so that's why she was found with Fatima, crying, on 149th Street in the Bronx, near Sher Malik's apartment. Although I have a low opinion of Sher Malik, I do not believe that he beat her or caused her injuries in any way. I also do not believe that these black people were responsible for beating her.

Another significant fact is that it has been reliably reported to me that Aziz-ur-Rehman tried a number of times to obtain an abortion for Honzagool in approximately June, 1981, but that he was unsuccessful due to the advanced state of Honzagool's pregnancy. I realize that you assured me many times that Aziz would never try to arrange an abortion of Honzagool's child because that would be a great sin under Islam. However, the person giving me the information is quite definite about it and I believe this report. It may be that Aziz beat Honzagool because he had found a doctor who was willing to perform the abortion and he wanted to force Honzagool to agree to it. Therefore, she ran away from him.

I would also like to mention that it appears, from what my mother has been willing to tell me about a letter that you wrote to her, that you believe the story that I locked Honzagool out of my house and she had no place to go. Although I told you this in Chitral, I will again repeat to you that this story is untrue. The last time I saw Honzagool was at about 4:30 a.m. on the morning of April 19, 1981, and she was in my apartment praying her early morning Namaz and I was trying to get to sleep. When I awoke she was gone and she had taken some clothing plus an expensive stereo radio cassette player which I had bought as an intended present for Nazir Ahmed, her brother. A neighbor told me that she had seen Honzagool on the street in front of my house at about 7:00 a.m. that morning apparently waiting for Aziz to come. I never locked her out or pushed her out of the door, nor did I beat her and I don't think I even touched her physically on this occasion. In fact, she still has the keys to my apartment and while I was in Pakistan she returned to my apartment several times with the brother of Sher Malik to collect the mail as well as her suitcases, clothing and other personal possessions. The building manager informs me that she also spent the night there. The fact that she has numerous heavy articles with her which I purchased for her proves that I did not lock her or throw her out of my house as she would not have be en able to carry all of these things herself

I will also address another false story which is being circulated by Aziz. Aziz keeps complaining to you, to my mother, and to everybody who is willing to listen, that I have shown photographs of female members of his family to various people which, he always claims, is a great sin against Islam. This is apparently his major complaint against me and the reason he feels justified in having taken my wife away from me. Although I said this to you in Chitral, I will again repeat that this claim also is completely false. Actually, the truth is that I do not have any of the photographs of any female members of the family of Aziz which I took on the occasion of that trip to Chitral. I did take some such photographs in Chitral at the time of my marriage to Honzagool. However, I sent these photographs to you and any additional copies that I made were immediately taken by Honzagool so she could show them to her friends. She has all the photographs. Also, I learned when I initially came to America that Aziz is completely crazy on this subject because he was claiming that he was going to kill Nadir who, he claimed, had gone through his possessions and seen the pictures of his wife. Therefore, if I had any photographs of the family of Aziz, I would have been extremely careful not to show them to anybody. For example, during my recent trip to Pakistan, I had numerous photographs of Honzagool in my pocket at all times, but I was careful never to show a single one of these photographs to any man.

Since you are presumably still corresponding with Aziz, perhaps you should ask him to provide the name of any person who has seen any photograph of any female member of his family. I am sure that he will not be able to provide such information unless, of course, Honzagool herself has been showing the photographs.

I will not even go into the point now that while Aziz has been making such a great issue of a minor matter such as the possible showing of photographs half way around the world to people who could care less as to what the female members of his family look like, he has committed what I regard as a real sin by requiring that my wife sleep at least one night a week in the house of another man, namely Sher Malik, without my permission from almost ever since our arrival in America in March, 1980, until April, 1981, when he took her completely away from me This is not a minor matter. It so happens that the baby does not look like me at all and, unfortunately, looks exactly like Sher Malik. Also, I have kept an exact diary of the comings and goings of Honzagool. My records snow that she spent the night of January 3, 1981, in the house of Sher Malik. More significantly, on the morning of January 10, 1981, she left my house for the house of Sher Malik. The next evening, she called me to say in English that she was spending another night in the house of Sher Malik. This was perhaps the first time she ever spoke English to me. She did not return until the evening of January 12, 1981. This trip is important because I have kept a record of her monthly cycles and it took place at the exact time when she was most likely to become pregnant. Also, the baby was born on October 15, 1981, almost exactly nine months later. The skin color of the baby is also much darker than that of either myself or of Honzagool and is approximately the same as the skin color of Sher Malik. In addition, on the birth certificate my name is not listed and the baby is classed as illegitimate. That is the reason that the baby is named Shamema Honza Gool and not Shamema Honzagool Sloan, as would be required by American law if I am the father. In America, if the name of the father of a baby is unknown, it takes the name of the mother, which is why the baby has the name Honza Gool. I am not passing judgment because I am still proceeding on the assumption that I am the actual father of the baby, but, as you can imagine, I have been greatly troubled by this situation. It is true that Sher Malik is married to Fatima. However, as you now know, his bad moral character in sexual matters has been known since the incident leading to his expulsion from village Chimerqon in Chitral ten years ago. However, the much more likely culprit is Sher Malik' s half brother, also called Aziz, with whom Honzagool spent many days while she was married to me. For example, when she left my house on the morning of January 10th I have no way of knowing whether she went directly to the house of Sher Malik or whether she went somewhere with Aziz during the day instead. I do know that Sher Malik often sent his brother to pick her up from my house and bring her back, an arrangement to which I objected vehemently knowing the apparent relationship between them. Thus, you can see that the activities of your brother in insisting that Honzagool sleep in the house of Sher Malik has led directly to doubts about the baby's legitimacy. I will also mention again that, as you know I argued with your brother many times on this point for exactly this reason because of the close friendship which had obviously developed between Honzagool and the half-brother of Sher Malik, who is only 19. Of course, the truth can be ultimately determined through blood tests. However, since I do not have access to the baby, it has been impossible for me to obtain a test of the baby's blood thus far

In conclusion on this subject in general, I will say that my conscious is clear, I am confident that nobody could have fought harder than I have to keep this marriage together. Ever since this marriage took place in February, 1980, I have been engaged in a continuous struggle, first with your brother and Sher Malik and now with the Shaikh in the Bronx, to keep this marriage together, except for the few months "vacation" I took in Pakistan when the situation in America had obviously become hopeless until the baby was born. Since my return to America, I have worked only two days in my office because all of the rest of my time has been devoted to this case. As a result, I have not made any money and consequently I recently moved to my mother's house in Virginia. I know that you have no doubt received conflicting reports from others and may have bad feelings towards me for which I cannot fault you, but I am sure in my heart that I have done the best that I possibly could under the circumstances.

Now I will discuss other subjects, basically incorporating a letter I started writing to you when I first arrived in America.

When I last came to your house in Drosh on August 31, 1981, I was sorry to hear that you had gone to Arandu and would not return for at least two or three days. I had many things I wanted to discuss with you, although none were of earth shaking importance, except for the earthquake which occurred in Hunza, but I felt that as my visa was expiring I could not afford to wait two or three or more days for you, and also I could not go to Arandu without being arrested by the police again. In retrospect, however, I wasted a lot of time in stupid ways during this entire trip to Pakistan and a wait of a few days longer in Drosh would not have made any real difference, especially with the situation being as bad as it was in America,

When I saw you last, I was being taken by the police to Chitral Proper, but I intended to return there on the next day. However, when I arrived in Chitral Proper the police office had just closed, and when I came the next day I had to stay so long in the police station that by the time I went to the D.C.'s office to ask permission to return to Damel it was closing time. Moreover, the following day was Friday, when government offices were closed. I therefore became so angry at losing so much time due to government bureaucracy that when by chance I happened upon a jeep going Thursday night to Mastuj I jumped on, firmly resolved to return on Saturday when government offices would be open.

However, when I arrived at Mastuj village, which proved to be a great disappointment because I had expected to find a teaming bazaar there where I could sell my books, it seemed only reasonable to go a bit further to Gupis in Gilgit and to return the next day Unfortunately, as soon as I crossed Shandur Top and reached Barsot in Gilgit I discovered that there were no jeeps at all, either going in the direction of Gupis or back to Chitral. Finally, I walked approximately 20 miles to Shamarang near Pandar, where I was able to catch a jeep to Gupis. Consequently, the trip from Mastuj to Gupis took three full and very trying days. As there were no jeeps going all the way back to Chitral, I had no choice but to go down to Gilgit proper and ultimately down the Kirakoram Highway to Islamabad. This latter journey caused some problems as well because foreigners are prohibited from traveling on the Kirakoram Highway without a permit which can only be obtained in person in Islamabad, and the only way to get to Islamabad was by that highway. In America we call this a "Catch 22" situation, after a famous book by that name. ("The only way to get out of the army is if you're crazy, but if you want to get out of the army, you must not be crazy.") However, by disguising myself as a Chitrali and by refusing to speak any language but Khowar, which is spoken as a second language by 30-40% of the people in Gilgit Proper, I was able to buy a bus ticket and travel on the Kirakoram Highway without permission.

The resulting trip was interesting and would have been quite worthwhile had I not been so pressed for time with so many more important things to do in Pakistan. Altogether, I went to Yasin, Gilgit, Hunza, Lahore, Swat and Islamabad. I also took a short cut whereby one can go from Becham on the way to Gilgit across a pass on a fairly new road to Mengora in Swat. By this route one can reduce the distance from Gilgit to Peshawar by more than 200 miles. Gilgit Proper can be reached from Chitral by this route in about 20 hours. The distance is about 340 miles. It is twice as long but the roads are much better than the Shandur Top way. The main problem about traveling like this was that I tried constantly to keep moving and only stopped overnight anywhere when there was no jeep available. As a result, I saw the places but rarely stayed long enough to make any acquaintances or gain any lasting impressions. However, one very noticeable thing was that as soon as one crosses Shandur Top to Gilgit, the purdah system disappears and every girl can be seen by anyone willing to look. In Upper Chitral, however, contrary to the propaganda I have heard, it unusual to see any girl, even in the Ismaili areas, although I met a few when I got lost on a back track near Mastuj. At the same time, the Khowar speakers of Gilgit do not have the tradition of hospitality towards guests which exists in Chitral, as they themselves will admit. For example, it twice happened in Ghizar that a man invited me to spend the night in his house and, after I accepted, asked me to provide money. When I last visited your house in Drosh, I took the copy of my book in which you had corrected some mistakes. Regrettably, there were many typographical and other errors in the book, including two on the back cover. This has left me discouraged because I spent three months meticulously checking the proofs every day and I cannot understand how I overlooked so many mistakes. However, one void which you complained about is Awshikili, meaning "skin shed by a snake" which you corrected to Awtzhikeli. The list of words which you gave me included Awzrikeli, but several Chitralis, including Professor Israr-ur-Din, said that this was wrong and correct was Awshikili. Therefore, by majority vote, I changed it. Also, I noticed that you changed in my earlier proofs, Shazda Burhan-ud-Din to Shazda Buhan-ud-Din, and I followed your correction in my book. I am curious about this because many people have since told me that Burhan-ud-Din was correct.

One reason that I was in such a hurry to leave your house and rush to Chitral was that it was essential for me to get a letter of recommendation of my book from Wegar Ahmed, the Director of Education of Chitral. However, when I finally met him it turned out that he was rather disapproving of my book and, more than that, he seemed to be opposed completely to the development of the Khowar language. He stated openly that he had never in his life written Khowar, had no desire to learn how to write it, and if ever it had been essential that he write in this language he had always called a clerk from his office to write it for him. As for my book, he said after glancing at it for only a few seconds that "it contains only sexual terms and the names of a few places and there is nothing of value in it." Naturally, I was startled and discouraged by this reception.

Nevertheless, the approval of Mr. Wegar Ahmed was of vital importance for my book. Therefore, I stayed in Chitral for several days and went many times to his office or his nearby residence, always trying to engage him in friendly discussions about the Khowar language. Ultimately he wrote a rather qualified letter of recommendation, a copy of which I enclose.

The other main event of my trip to Chitral was my run-in with the Deputy Commissioner. As I think I told you when I was previously in Drosh, I had heard rumors that the newly appointed D.C. was very strongly against me, but that when I meet him in person my fears in this regard had been dispelled. After this meeting, however, I continued to hear rumors that the D.C. had told this or that person that he considered me to be undesirable, even though he was studying my book. Finally, I decided to confront the issue directly by requesting permission to visit Bumboret and Rumbur for three days. However, when I went to his compound with this routine request, I was denied permission to see him in person and on my application the D.C. wrote a directive to the D.C.'s stenographer that this matter should be brought to the attention of the police in Ayun. I previously also suspected that the insolent way in which I was treated by the Chief of Police in Drosh, the man from Broz, had something to do with the D.C.

Anyway, I became quite agitated at this development, even though it was not unanticipated. In fact, a few days earlier I had met Khurshid Ali, District Council Chairman, at Jan's Hotel in Peshawar and had mentioned this possibility to him and he assured me that if the D.C. were to refuse me permission to go to Bumboret, he would personally go to the D.C.'s office and straighten out the matter. Unfortunately, when the case actually arose, he had gone away to Ayun or Drosh.

I consider this matter to be of great importance because I have now become very tied up with Chitral and I consider it essential that I be allowed to travel freely there. Actually, I had no special plans to go to Bumboret on this trip as I had been there before and considered it more important to go to Mulkohw and Turkohw, where I have never been. However, I felt obliged to meet this challenge presented by the D.C. Therefore, I went to numerous influential people with this problem. Among others, I approached several attorneys with the idea of bringing a lawsuit against the D.C. However, everyone told me that lawsuits like this have been tried before and never with a good result. One lawyer told me that the D.C. is rapidly loosing popularity and will probably be transferred within six months, which is a shorter time than a lawsuit would take. Anyway, the next day the D.C. went off to Swat, and after that to Gilgit, so it was useless to ask anyone to intervene in my behalf. Therefore, I decided to go to Bumboret anyway, without permission, by foot by way of Orghoch. I was fully prepared to be arrested and sent to jail, in which case I felt that the D.C. would get into trouble from his superiors whereas I would be released within a few days. As it was, I had a very difficult time crossing the pass from Orghoch. It took me 11 hours, because I lost the path and I arrived in the night in Kalashagram and slept in an animal shed. However, the police did not catch me because I stayed on the back trails in the Kalash valleys, whereas they were on the main roads. On the way back, I walked approximately 22 miles, all day and most of the night, from village Krakal in Bumboret to village Hon near Chitral Proper, just to avoid being seen by the police or anywhere near Ayun. This trip resulted in great damage to my feet.

This may seem to you to have been a foolish escapade. However, I believe that what I did was correct under the circumstances. The problem I have with Chitral is that I cannot earn any money there. However, in some cases, anthropologists have been paid by their governments to study the Kalash people. If I could find somebody to pay me to study the Kalash language, I could come to Chitral more often, but that idea is unfeasible if the D.C. continues arbitrarily to refuse me permission to visit the Kalash areas.

Finally, I would like to mention that I met Inayatullah Faizi in Peshawar after he had returned from the Tablighis at the same time that I met Khurshid Ali. I am now convinced that Faizi joined the Tablighi not to embrace their religion, but rather to learn their techniques of persuasion and indoctrination. When I met him in Peshawar he was even more rabidly pro-Communist and pro-Soviet than before. He also informed me that I am a spy for America and that I wrote the Khowar-English Dictionary as an assignment from the CIA. He says that all of the members of the royal family of Chitral are spies for America as well. When I asked him how could he justify his pro-Soviet stance in view of the Soviet murders of so many Afghans, he replied that "every man has the right to kill his enemy."

As I told Faizi himself, I think that he is a dangerous person, although he seems harmless enough, because it is partly due to a handful of young intellectuals in Afghanistan who held such ideas in the past that that country is in the position it now finds itself.

Incidentally, in Peshawar I met the leader of the Nuristani Mujahidin Organization, whose name is Mohammed Anwar, and it turns out that I had played chess with him when we both were prisoners in jail in Jalalabad. (I won every chess game I played in jail.) He also comes to Chitral.

When I returned to America I opened the mail which had accumulated during the nearly five months that I had been away and I read the letters that you had sent me, I can assure you that had I received your letters in time, I almost certainly would have taken Honzagool with me to Chitral last April, especially as your May 2nd letter states: "Please don't treat it as an overwhelming problem and simply manage her ticket to Drosh. I pledge you that we shall manage her return within a month." Unfortunately, by May 2nd Aziz-ur-Rehman had already taken Honzagool away from me and I was already in Pakistan, so that was no longer possible.

Of course, this was not due to any delay on your part. You apparently responded almost immediately upon receipt of my 18 page letter wherein I just revealed to you the seriousness of the situation in America and my letter was written only a few days before the final break-up came. However, the delay was not entirely my fault either. I was afraid to write you earlier and tell you how bad the relations had become between me and your brother for fear that you would complain about it in your recent letters to him, in which case he almost certainly would have become angry and would probably have taken Honzagool away from me even sooner than he did. For this reason, I did not write you with any hint of how bad the situation was until things had deteriorated to the point where I knew a break in relations was inevitable.

I now think that the actual reason for the breakdown in relations between me and Aziz was not because of the issue of taking Honzagool back to Chitral. Actually we had agreed that I would not take her until Lowari Pass opens in late May, whereas these problems became intensified in early April -- but because of my trip to Texas in March, where I worked on the first version of my Khowar-English Dictionary. As you know, I was in Texas with Honzagool from March 6 until March 20, 1981. Honzagool and I took this trip without receiving any permission from Aziz. Naturally, I had no objection to telling Aziz that we were going but at that time I had no idea where I could contact him. Up until that trip Honzagool had always refused to go anywhere with me, not even for a short distance, without specific authorization from Aziz. However, when I decided to go to Texas it was five days before Aziz was expected to come again, so rather than wait I bribed Honzagool by buying her an expensive radio, cassette player-recorder which was intended to be a present from her to Nazir.

I have since learned that Aziz was infuriated when he learned that I had taken Honzagool to Texas without his permission and he complained to a number of people that I had "stolen" her from him. I am not surprised at this, but at the same time it was essential to me that I establish that I have the right to take my own wife wherever I wish, without the need of getting "permission" from any third person.

One thing that I learned when I was just now in Chitral was that about this time Aziz wrote several letters to Chitral complaining that I was not a good man and he was not happy about my being married to his sister. This is significant because these letters were apparently written in February or March, approximately two months prior to our break in relations, and long before Aziz had made any complaint to me, or for that matter to you, regarding the marriage. Specifically, he wrote such letters to Mohammad Ayub Khan of the Drosh Scouts and to Kaifatullah, the Clerk in the District Council Office, Chitral. It should be remembered that these two men played vital roles in making the marriage between myself and Honzagool possible. Ayub actually arranged the marriage as my representative and Kaifatullah wrote the permission paper to make the marriage legally possible. (I understood that there is still a police case against Kaifatullah for having done this.) It seems that the thrust of Aziz's letters was that I was a bad man and these two men were guilty of arranging this unsatisfactory marriage. Incidentally, Aziz told me himself during one of his weekly visits to my house that he had written letters to Ayub and to Kaifatullah, but he never told me what he had written them about,

There are many other things I would like to tell you about. However, I feel that I must conclude this letter now. I could easily write you a book on this subject, which would accomplish nothing. I might mention that it is too bad that Nazir Ahmed refused to go to America when I tried to send him on June 20, 1981. His presence in America at that critical time would almost definitely have prevented the terrible situation of Honzagool which now faces us. As fox Aziz, you can pass your own judgment as to whether his actions were proper or not.

Anyway, all I can say is that I now have got a court case going, with a trial scheduled for January 7 , in which I am trying to get my wife and my child back from the black people who are holding them. The problem is that there is no reliable translator for my wife and these black people are claiming to have the authority to speak on behalf of my wife. I have sent a telegram to the US Consulate in Peshawar to provide a translator for this trial. If there is no translator, I am afraid that I will not be able to get Honzagool back, in which case I will not be able to return her to you

I know that you will be greatly distressed at everything I have said in this letter, but that's the way it is. I am sorry that the news could not have been better.

Sincerely yours,

Mohammad Ismail Sloan

The above letter was written somewhat near to the beginning of a controversy which continues to this day, 15 years later. As the above letter relates, my wife was stolen away from me by her cousin, Aziz-ur-Rehman. Later, she was taken to Rawalpindi, a place where she had never been before, secretly divorced from me ex-party and married the same day to a man she did not know, who was the lawyer who obtained the divorce, all this time leaving me with our child, Shamema, which the mother had effectively abandoned. For the "divorce decree" itself, see: Ex-Party Order of Rawalpindi Family Court in Pakistan .

There is no doubt that the child, Shamema Honzagool, is my daughter. In order to keep me from my own daughter, they initially switched babies and produced somebody else's baby. However, when I was able to obtain a court order for blood tests, they produced the correct baby, which was proven to be mine.

For the letter to the EAC of Chitral, see: Letter to the EAC of Chitral, who was later found murdered .

For the letter from the EAC of Chitral, see: Letter from the EAC of Chitral .

For a newspapar article attacking that judge, see: Urdu Daily Jasarat article attacking the EAC of Chitral, who was later found murdered .

More than 100 articles have appeared about this in the newspapers of Pakistan. The Pakistan press refused to publish my side of the story and continues to refuse to do so to this day. For a typical example of one of those articles, see: Daily Nawa-i-Waqt for 6 October 1983 . For my reply to a person named Zaman who challenged me on this, see: Reply to Zaman .

For a photo of Honzagool being prepared for marriage to me, see: Preparations for Marriage .For two other photos of Honzagool, see: Honzagool . For a photo of the family of Honzagool, see: Family of Honzagool in Chitral, Pakistan . For a photo of me and of our daughter Shamema, see: Shamema .

Here are links:

Contact address - please send e-mail to the following address: Sloan@ishipress.com