Syed Naeem Shah, 35, scored the very best within the normal excessive school exams amongst personal candidates – that’s, amongst non-traditional college students — final yr in Pakistan’s largest metropolis, successful a scholarship for additional research from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP).

“What I have achieved while languishing in jail is not possible if one does not have conviction,” Shah instructed Reuters in an interview in Central Prison 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 almost 6,000 inmates in house meant for two,400. Pakistan prisons total are at 130% of capability and are poorly ventilated, with inadequate beds and restricted entry to medicines, secure water and bathing amenities, based on Amnesty International.

Speaking in a classroom contained in the jail grounds, Shah mentioned he loved school as a toddler however that his household couldn’t afford to proceed his training. In jail, older inmates who had been additionally taking lessons motivated him and helped him put together for exams.

Shah is one in all 1,200 inmates finding out in Central Prison Karachi, however his success is unparalleled, mentioned Saeed Soomro — deputy superintendent of the jail.

“His results are (also) 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 educational achievements, good habits and blood donations, leaves him with about six years to serve.

Shah nonetheless has to cross an entrance examination to formally take up the scholarship, an ICAP official mentioned, requesting anonymity as he isn’t licensed to speak to media.

The scholarships — of 1 million rupees or about $5,700 — are provided to college students incomes the top 4 scores in intermediate exams, no matter whether or not “they are in jail or outside,” the ICAP official mentioned.

“I feel it will be very difficult for me to pursue this scholarship from prison,” Shah mentioned, given the technical and specialised topics he might 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 appeal to the president of Pakistan, prime minister and chief executive of Sindh province to consider my case for remission.”