March 14, 2000
I am writing you with regard to the situation of my wife, Honzagool, and our daughter, Shamema Honzagool, of Chitral, Pakistan.
You undoubtedly have heard of this case, because it was the subject of extensive newspaper publicity in Pakistan in 1982 and 1983. However, the true facts of this case have never been published by any newspaper in Pakistan, due to corruption in the government and in the press. I contacted the newspapers many times and even went to the offices of every major newspaper in Pakistan, but they all refused to publish my side of the story. The head of the Peshawar office of the Daily Jang, whose name was Rizvi, wrote an article giving my side of the story, but the Daily Jang refused to publish it. Rizvi showed me his article and told me that this was the only time that the Jang had ever refused to publish his story. Rizvi died shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, the Jang had published dozens of articles attacking me.
A top reporter for the Frontier Post in Peshawar wrote a story favorable to me, but he later told me that his typesetters had refused to type it. Note that the reporters in Peshawar were always trying to get my side of the story published in the press, but their head offices in Rawalpindi and Karachi were not publishing this and were only publishing articles attacking me. This has resulted in a situation which I hope that your enlightened administration will correct.
I married Honzagool in her own house in Village Damik, Drosh, Chitral, Pakistan on February 17, 1980. A condition of this marriage in the written marriage contract was that I was to bring both my wife and her cousin, Aziz-ur-Rehman, to America. Aziz-ur-Rehman had arranged the marriage.
As you must know, this is not an easy thing to accomplish, but I fulfilled this promise and within a few weeks both of them arrived with me in America.
As far as I was concerned, this satisfied my obligations to Aziz-ur-Rehman, but he felt differently. He demanded that I provide him with a place to live in my house with me and my wife, which I did, and he also demanded that I give him a job at a good salary, which I was unable to do because he was lazy and refused to work.
In Chitral, Aziz-ur-Rehman had been a poor man working for the Sanitation Department of Chitral as a Sanitary Inspector, making 300 rupees per month, but now in America he wanted a high job in an executive capacity where he could give orders telling people what to do.
Eventually, his demands became so severe that I and my wife moved away to a place where we hoped that he would not be able to find us, but he tracked us down and increased his demands.
By then, he had made friends with an especially crazy Chitrali in New York named Sher Malik. Sher Malik also had a Chitrali wife and his wife and my wife became friends, which gave Sher Malik exceptional power over my wife, because in Chitral men do not usually talk to women outside of their immediate family. Since my wife and Sher Malik's wife were the only two Chitrali girls in America and the only two women in America who could speak the Khowar language of Chitral, Sher Malik was able to influence and to alienate my wife.
Because I simply could not meet the endless and forever increasing demands of Aziz-ur-Rehman, on April 20, 1981 he came to my house early in the morning while I was still asleep and took my wife away. He took her to the house of Sher Malik and eventually hid my wife in the home of a man named Shake Abdulla Balah Awadallah (but whose real name was Marvin Anderson) in the Bronx.
I started a court case in the Bronx Supreme Court entitled Sloan vs. Awadallah, Index Number 17815/1981, for habeas corpus to recover my wife and our daughter, Shamema, who had been born on October 15, 1981. They were by then living in his house.
Shake came to court and said that since my wife could not speak English, the court would have to provide a interpreter. The Court requested that Columbia University send a translator. Columbia University sent a man who was a graduate student there named Raja Ehsan Aziz. He claimed that he could speak Khowar, but he had assumed that Khowar was some dialect of Punjabi. When he came to the court, it was quickly discovered that he could not speak even one word of Khowar and could not communicate with my wife.
However, seeing an opportunity for profit, Raja told the court that he knew some members of the Pakistani Community in New York who would help resolve the situation. He got the court to adjourn the case for two weeks. My lawyer, William Beslow, agreed to this, even though I told Beslow that I suspected that Raja was a dangerous person.
Two weeks later, Raja Ehsan Aziz returned to the court with television and newspaper reporters plus about 50 persons who were adherents of his group and who were affiliated with the Jamaat-e-Islami in New York. They immediately took over the case, fired the lawyer for my wife and replaced him with a lawyer named Lake (who later died). They moved my wife and our daughter out of the house of Shake and to a neighbor of a Mafia chieftain in Howard Beach, Queens, New York. Shake disappeared and has never been seen or heard from since. I have searched for him many times and have never been able to find him.
In June, 1982, Aziz-ur-Rehman was arrested for a second time by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service. He was held in jail for three weeks and then deported to Pakistan. Only a few hours after he arrived back in Chitral, a riot started in which the Dreamland Hotel was burned to the ground and at least six people were killed.
Then, a Prince of Chitrali came to America. Raja and the other Pakistanis who were holding my wife on Long Island were anxious to curry the favor of the Prince, so they agreed to allow him to meet my wife on August 28, 1982. Since the Prince could speak her language of Khowar but the other Pakistanis could not, she spoke to him and told him that she wanted to accompany the Prince back to Pakistan and to leave our daughter, Shamema, with me in America. They departed from America that same day.
The Prince took Honzagool back to Chitral, where he handed my wife over to Prince Mohay-ud-Din, the District Council Chairman of Chitral, who later became the Minister of State of Pakistan. Prince Mohay-ud-Din delivered my wife safely to her home in Damik.
One year later, in September 1983, I went to Chitral to recover my wife. In order to keep secret my arrival in Pakistan, the Prince allowed me to ride in the jump seat of the DC-10 aircraft he was piloting. I then walked over Lowari Top (although jeeps were still running at that time of the year) and arrived without incident in the home of my wife in Damik. I slept for the next two nights there.
My wife and I were about to reconcile and I was going to take her back to America where she could be with our daughter, Shamema. However, Aziz-ur-Rehman, who had meanwhile gone into hiding in Chitral Proper, sent a telegram to Raja Ehsan Aziz in Rawalpindi telling to come to Chitral. Raja Ehsan Aziz and his wife started writing bogus newspaper articles which appeared in the Pakistan Press, including especially the Daily Jang, Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Daily Jasarat and The Muslim.
The articles in "The Muslim" for October 5, 1983 was entitled "Local Officials in League with Sloan?" This article alleged that the Deputy Commissioner and other top officials of Chitral had presumably taken bribes and were trying to force my wife to live with me. Nothing of the kind had occurred. In order to explain the fact that I had spent two nights in the house of my wife before these articles started appearing in the press, the article said: "In the dark hours of Sept. 14, he tried to break into the home of Hunza Gul, where she lives with her mother."
In reality, when I came to the house of Honzagool on September 14, 1983, she was sitting there with her mother, two brothers, Wazir and Nisar, and three uncles, Khan Syed, Zar Khan and Dinar Khan. I arrived there alone, without friend or escort. Who can believe that I alone could break into a house where five strong mountain men were sitting? An article in Urdu even said that I had climbed the wall to enter the house. In reality, her family members had greeted me and had invited me to spend the night there.
Another false statement which was repeatedly published by Raja Ehsan Aziz in the Pakistan press is that Honzagool was alone with me in America and had no defense to the inhumanely cruel treatment she received from me.
In reality, she arrived on the same flight with her cousin, Aziz-ur-Rehman, and he moved into our house and would not even leave me alone with her, until we escaped from him by moving out of the house five months later. This explains why my wife did not become pregnant while he was living there. Later, he teamed up with Sher Malik and the two of them were harassing us every day. There was never even one day that I was living with my wife that we were completely free from harassment by Aziz-ur-Rehman and Sher Malik.
The articles planted in the press by Raja Ehsan Aziz consistently characterized my wife as "an orphan", who was alone and unable to resist the ravages by me, not only in America but also in her own Chitral. While it is true that the father of Honzagool was deceased, her mother was alive and she had three elder brothers and three uncles, all living in the same house with her. Unfortunately, they were not well educated and were unable to write rebuttals to the false and slanderous allegations which Raja kept putting in the press. Neither they nor anybody else in Chitral, with the exception of Aziz-ur-Rehman, approved of the publication of these articles by Raja.
Zia-ul-Haq, President of Pakistan, was so concerned by the articles which started appearing in the press of Pakistan that he even called the DC's office in Chitral to find out what was going on.
Eventually, more than one hundred newspaper articles appeared, all planted in the press by Raja Ehsan Aziz and his wife. Also, three articles had earlier appeared in the newspapers in New York City, which had also been planted in the press by Raja Ehsan Aziz. Raja Ehsan Aziz was associated with a press agency in Rawalpindi called the Afghan Press Bureau, which was near Siddiqi Chawk, and through this bureau he was able to get all these articles published.
Due to the tremendous furor and publicity in the press, I was advised to leave Pakistan and to come back when things cooled off. By this time, articles had appeared in Daily Nawa-i-Waqt for 6 October 1983 plus several articles had appeared in Daily Jasarat which were so defamatory that my friends in Pakistan were surprised that I had not already been killed. Because I feared that Raja Ehsan Aziz and his organization, the Jamaat-e-Islami, would have the airports covered, I took the train which was then running from Lahore to Amritsar, India, departing from Pakistan on November 11, 1983.
Meanwhile, Aziz-ur-Rehman had started a case for divorce in the court of the Extra Assistant Commissioner of Chitral, whose name was Main Hafiz-ur-Rehman. There were several court dates and appearances, but Mian Hafiz-ur-Rehman denied the application for divorce. My wife, of course, never came to court because of the purdah system.
Because Mian Hafiz-ur-Rehman refused to grant the divorce decree, he was murdered in March, 1984. Although this murder has never been officially solved, I have no doubt who did it, because the dead body of Mian Hafiz-ur-Rehman was discovered just 500 yards from the house of two supporters of Raja Ehsan Aziz, near the Chitral Power Station. His head had been chopped open with a hatchet and his dead body thrown in the river.
Because Raja Ehsan Aziz was unable to obtain a divorce in Chitral, he filed a case in the Rawalpindi Family Court, even though my wife had never been to Rawalpindi. His cousin/brother, Raja Abdul Rashid, is a lawyer who I am told sits at a table in front of the High Court of Rawalpindi soliciting customers. Raja Abdul Rashid became the lawyer, supposedly representing my wife.
Because I did not return to Pakistan until 1989, it was not until then that I found out what had happened. The case was heard by several different judges of the Rawalpindi Family Court over a period of one year. Each judge refused to try the case, because I had never been served with process and had never been notified of the case.
Finally, after one year, a judge named Shauket Nawaz Gul granted the divorce decree on June 1, 1985. I have read the entire record of the proceedings, except for the part in Urdu, which has been translated to me.
My wife did not appear in court, or if she did appear no record was ever noted of her presence. The only witness to testify was Raja Ehsan Aziz, who testified that he was an officer of the Bronx Supreme Court (remember that he had been hired as a translator and interpreter by that court) and that I had treated my wife with extreme cruelty.
Of course, Raja Ehsan Aziz had never known me and my wife when we were living together and had never even seen us together and had no personal knowledge of the relations between me and my wife. At the same time, there were several Chitralis who had visited our home when I and my wife were living together and they would have gladly testified as to the good relations between me and my wife and to the nefarious activities of Aziz-ur-Rehman, who was constantly trying to blackmail us and turn the situation to his personal profit.
Based entirely on the testimony of Raja Ehsan Aziz, Judge Shauket Nawaz Gul granted a divorce decree. It is obvious that this divorce degree is legally invalid, null and void because I had never been notified of the divorce case, plus I and my wife had never lived in Rawalpindi or anywhere near there, so the Rawalpindi Family Court had no jurisdiction over this case. In addition, the divorce had already been denied by the court in Chitral and Chitral was where all the witnesses lived who had personal knowledge of the facts of this case.
When I had married my wife on February 17, 1980, not only had her three brothers and her uncles all been present, but every notable person of her village had attended the marriage ceremony. A total of 24 persons had signed the Nikah Nama as witnesses. Now, five years later, a case had been filed in a court three hundred miles and across high mountain tops from Chitral, with no witnesses present other than Raja Ehsan Aziz, who himself had no personal knowledge of the facts of the case, and when I did not know about the case and even had I known I would not have been able to attend and could not have dared to attend the court, while my wife was being held in a secret location where neither I nor her relatives from Chitral could find her. Can a judge possibly have granted a valid divorce decree under such circumstances?
The reason why Raja Ehsan Aziz and Raja Abdul Rashid had done all this was not to help my wife or our daughter, Shamema, but because my wife was a beautiful young girl and they wanted to have my wife as a second wife. I knew about this from the beginning and the newspapers in Pakistan, including especially the Daily Jang, had reported that I had said that Raja Ehsan Aziz wanted to marry my wife, which he had denied. For this reason, when the divorce degree was granted by Judge Shauket Nawaz Gul, Raja Ehsan Aziz did not marry my wife himself. Instead, he married my wife to his brother, Raja Abdul Rashid, the lawyer who had pleaded the case before the court. This "marriage ceremony" took place on the same day that the divorce degree was granted by Shauket Nawaz Gul. They did not wait the required three month period of Idaat. They claimed that they did not have to wait the three months, because I had not been with my wife for more than three months. However, that is not the law.
Although I have never met or seen Raja Abdul Rashid, he has been described to me as a fat old man with a beard, who also had another wife and several children by that other wife.
So, we are asked to believe that my wife, Honzagool, left her daughter, Shamema, and our beautiful home in America, to go to live with a fat old bearded man in Rawalpindi, who sits in front of the courthouse every day soliciting customers and who has another wife and several other children and who also does not even know how to speak my wife's language.
The reason why Raja Ehsan Aziz has influence over my wife, even though he cannot speak her language, is that he represents himself as an officer of the court in America, even though his position with that court was only as translator and only lasted one day until it was found out that he could not speak the Chitrali language.
The important thing to note is that the newspapers in Pakistan have repeatedly misrepresented this situation. One of the most prevalent lies which has repeatedly appeared in the press is that I have been trying to take my wife away from her child. Apparently, the readers in Pakistan believe that we have a son (whereas in reality we have a daughter) and that I came to Pakistan in 1983 and tried to come again many times thereafter to take our son away from our wife. In reality, I want to bring my wife back to our daughter.
There was even a report that in 1985 at the time when Raja Ehsan Aziz was applying to the Rawalpindi Family Court for a divorce, young men in Pakistan were asked to guard the mountain tops and the passes which enter Pakistan, to stop me from crossing the passes, because I wanted to take our son away from my wife. (I presume that the reason why they said that we have a son whereas in reality we have a daughter is that they consider sons to be of greater value.)
This fantastic claim that the mountain passes needed to be guarded from me is derived from the fact that in his press reports, Raja Ehsan Aziz claimed that when I came from the USA to Pakistan in September, 1983, I had crossed the Durah Pass from Badakhshan, Afghanistan into Chitral, with a band of Afghan Freedom Fighters or Mujahidin. There was even an article in the Daily Jang which said that I had met with the top leaders of the Afghan Mujahidin and that I had given them instructions on how they should conduct their war.
If those stories had been true, I would be proud and not ashamed of it, but in reality I had come on PIA aircraft, sitting in the jump seat of a PIA DC-10, piloted by a Prince of Chitral.
So, what the newspapers have published in Pakistan has been the reverse of the truth. They have said that I came to Pakistan to take our son away from my wife. In reality, I came to Pakistan to reunite my wife, Honzagool, with her daughter, Shamema, whom she had left behind in America.
Due to corruption of pervious governments of Pakistan, I have never been able to get my case heard there. One of the reasons for this has been not only corruption, but fear of the Jamaat-e-Islami, because both Raja Ehsan Aziz and Raja Abdul Rashid hold positions of influence in that political and religious group.
What makes this case especially tragic is that on October 7, 1990, my daughter, Shamema, was kidnapped from the front yard of my house by members of Jerry Falwell's fundamentalist Christian Group, which is headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia. Since you may have never heard of Jerry Falwell, I will explain that the members of his group are for the most part crazy, which I know for a fact, because my mother was a child psychiatrist practicing in Lynchburg for 23 years, and her psychiatric patients were predominantly members of Jerry Falwell's religious group. Jerry Falwell's people are almost as crazy as the Jamaat-e-Islami people in Rawalpindi, which may explain the situation in a way that you can understand.
My daughter has been kidnapped and held by the Lynchburg, Virginia based Jerry Falwell's religious group since she was eight years old, this due to the corrupt Government of Virginia, which is even more corrupt than the Government of Pakistan. My daughter has never been allowed to attend public school and is now enrolled in Jerry Falwell's bogus "University" in Lynchburg.
In summary, Raja Ehsan Aziz and his brother, Raja Abdul Rashid, are complete outsiders and non-relatives and have destroyed the lives of everybody involved in this case. I have lost my wife, Honzagool, and have spent the last 18 years trying to get her back. Honzagool has lost her daughter, Shamema, whom she has not seen since Shamema was nine months old. The people of Chitral and the family of Honzagool have been disgraced and subjected to ridicule by the newspaper articles which have constantly appeared in the Pakistan press. Most importantly, my daughter has lost her mother.
Meanwhile, Raja Ehsan Aziz and Raja Abdul Rashid are the only ones who have profited. My wife has become the second wife of Raja Abdul Rashid. Raja Ehsan Aziz has given speeches, raised funds, advanced his political objectives and generated a tremendous amount of favorable publicity for himself.
Wherefore, I am demanding the following:
1. The arrest, prosecution, trial and execution of both Raja Ehsan Aziz and Raja Abdul Aziz. They have both tried to have me killed many times over a period of years, so it is appropriate that I demand that they be executed, especially since they have stolen my wife and have committed adultery with her, which is punishable by death under Islamic law. My wife is not to be blamed, because she was told that Raja Ehsan Aziz was an official of the court in America and that Raja Abdul Rashid was an official of the court in Pakistan, so she had no choice but to obey their orders.
2. That my wife, Honzagool, be returned to America, so that we can work together to obtain the recovery of our daughter, who has been kidnapped and is still being held by the Jerry Falwell religious group in Lynchburg, Virginia.
You have come to power in Pakistan with the promise to clean up corruption in government. Here is an excellent opportunity for you to prove your commitment to rid your country, and mine, of corruption.
Very Truly Yours,