A maharaja’s grandson who traveled economy-class

A maharaja’s grandson who traveled economy-class

October 13th, 1994 23:00 GMT

Published in WEEKLY

Although Riaz Khan spent much of his youth in Canada and later at boarding school in Buxton, a spa town in England, he always nurtured the hope of returning to Pakistan to learn more about his language and culture. His ambition was to be a politician. So, against everyone’s advice, he returned to Pakistan to attend university. “My father warned me I had to see it through and six months after arriving I said ‘Dad, I think I’ve made a big mistake.’
“He said ‘Tough!”

Pakistan still features strongly in Khan’s daily business activities, as does India, where his grandfather was a nawab, a type of maharaja. The state he ruled, Jaora, was in Madhya Pradesh, central India, and was settled by the family about six or seven generations ago. It no longer exists.

Despite his impressive past, Khan remembers the time his Irish Canadian wife Carolann Quart used to travel across the Atlantic first class, while he settled for economy accommodations. His wife’s grandmother was a senator in the Canadian parliament and Carolann, a major in communication arts and an account director, had a portfolio of blue-chip advertising clients.

Today, Khan’s wife is a teacher. They have two girls Alia (13) and Sabrina (9), the latter name meaning “patience” in Arabic. “I hoped she would teach me patience, but instead she tests me,” admits Khan.