Syed Naeem Shah, 35, scored the very best within the normal highschool exams amongst non-public candidates – that’s, amongst non-traditional college students — final yr in Pakistan’s largest metropolis, profitable a scholarship for additional research from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP).
“What I’ve achieved whereas languishing in jail isn’t attainable if one doesn’t have conviction,” Shah instructed Reuters in an interview in Central Jail Karachi, constructed by the British in 1899 within the port metropolis in southeastern Pakistan.
The jail, like many others within the nation, is infamous for being overcrowded, holding practically 6,000 inmates in house meant for two,400. Pakistan prisons general are at 130% of capability and are poorly ventilated, with inadequate beds and restricted entry to medicines, protected water and bathing amenities, in accordance with Amnesty Worldwide.
Talking in a classroom contained in the jail grounds, Shah mentioned he loved faculty as a toddler however that his household couldn’t afford to proceed his schooling. In jail, older inmates who had been additionally taking courses motivated him and helped him put together for exams.
Shah is considered one of 1,200 inmates finding out in Central Jail Karachi, however his success is unparalleled, mentioned Saeed Soomro — deputy superintendent of the jail.
“His outcomes are (additionally) tantamount to our success,” Soomro mentioned, in giving him the chance to check and offering him with books and supplies.
Shah was sentenced to life — 25 years in Pakistan — in 2018 for the capturing and killing of one other man in a private disagreement in 2010. Years spent as a prisoner on trial, plus time without work for tutorial achievements, good habits and blood donations, leaves him with about six years to serve.
Shah nonetheless has to go an entrance examination to formally take up the scholarship, an ICAP official mentioned, requesting anonymity as he’s not licensed to speak to media.
The scholarships — of 1 million rupees or about $5,700 — are supplied to college students incomes the highest 4 scores in intermediate exams, no matter whether or not “they’re in jail or exterior,” the ICAP official mentioned.
“I really feel it is going to be very troublesome for me to pursue this scholarship from jail,” Shah mentioned, given the technical and specialised topics he will likely be pursuing.
Even earlier than his examination success, Shah mentioned he had filed an attraction towards his conviction that’s pending in a excessive courtroom within the southern province of Sindh.
“I attraction to the president of Pakistan, prime minister and chief govt of Sindh province to think about my case for remission.”