[kahn, kan]
Khan, Abdul Qadeer (A. Q. Khan), 1936-, Pakistani metallurgical engineer, often called the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, b. Bhopal, India. He moved (1952) to Pakistan and studied at the D. J. Science College, Karachi (B.S., 1960), Delft Univ. of Technology, the Netherlands (M.S., 1967), and Catholic Univ., Leuven, Belgium (Ph.D., 1972). He worked (1970-75) on uranium enrichment at a Dutch plant, gaining a considerable knowledge of atomic physics, of engineering as it related to the creation of fissionable materials, and of the working of centrifuges, and honing his management skills. Two years after India exploded its first nuclear device (1974), Khan returned to Pakistan, where, with the support of President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he soon assumed leadership of the nation's nascent nuclear program, utilizing secret nuclear technology he had stolen and information and equipment smuggled from the West by Pakistani agents. In 1983 he was tried in absentia by a Dutch court for espionage and found guilty; the conviction was overturned on a technicality. An honored figure in Pakistan, Khan was appointed head of a research institute named for him at Kahuta, which became Pakistan's main nuclear-weapons and uranium-enrichment facility.

In 1998 Pakistan detonated several nuclear devices, and Khan's stature at home grew. In 2003, however, Pakistan launched an investigation into his international nuclear dealings since the 1980s, and a year later he confessed to providing information, for personal gain, on sensitive nuclear technology and nuclear devices to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and China. Dismissed from his post, Khan publicly apologized, but spoke in English so many of his countrymen were unable to understand his confession. He was placed (2004) under house arrest but also pardoned by President Musharraf; a Pakistani court ended his house arrest in 2009. Unrepentant despite his disgrace, Khan remains a national hero to many Pakistanis.

See G. Corera, Shopping for Bombs (2006).

Khan, Ali Akbar, 1922-2009, Indian musician, b. Shivpur, East Bengal (now Bangladesh). A master of the sarod, a lutelike 25-stringed N Indian instrument, Khan was born into a family whose roots in traditional Indian court music extend back to the 16th cent. Trained by his father, Alauddin Khan, a famous musician and teacher, the younger Khan began performing at 13, was appointed court musician to the maharaja of Jodhpur, and became a well-known virtuoso. The violinist Yehudi Menuhin heard Khan play in Delhi in 1955 and invited the young musician to the United States. There he performed classical Indian music in concert and on television and made his first recordings, helping to spur the genre's popularity in the West during the 1960s and thereafter. Khan produced nearly 100 albums and performed frequently, sometimes with his brother-in-law, sitarist Ravi Shankar. He composed numerous ragas and wrote the scores for several films, e.g., Satyajit Ray's Devi (1960) and Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha (1993). Khan founded colleges of classical Indian music in Kolkata (1956), San Rafael, Calif. (1967), and Basel, Switzerland (1985), and established (1994) a music foundation.
Khan-Tuvan Dyggvi, according to Omeljan Pritsak, was the name of a Khazar khagan of the mid 830s. He led a rebellion (that of the Kabars) against the Khagan Bek. As this rebellion took place roughly contemporaneously with the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism, Pritsak and others have speculated that the rebellion had a religious aspect.

See also


  • Pritsak, Omeljan. The Origin of Rus'. Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991.

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