A convicted murderer in Pakistan wins scholarship to study further

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Jan 22, 2022, 10:32 PM(IST)

Inmate Syed Naeem Shah, 35, who serves life term and has been offered a scholarship by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP). Photograph:( Reuters )

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ICAP offered Shah a $5,700 scholarship so that he can complete his accounting studies

Syed Naeem Shah, who is serving a life sentence in Pakistan for murder has won a prestigious scholarship to study further after he passed intermediate exams with distinction. He scored 954 marks out of 1,100.

The 35-year-old Shah, who is an inmate in Central Prison Karachi earned a chartered accountancy scholarship for the highest scores in the city's higher secondary school exams last year. 

In an interview, Shah told Reuters, "What I have achieved while languishing in jail is not possible if one does not have conviction."

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After the achievement, he was recognised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), which offered him a $5,700 scholarship so that he can complete his accounting studies.

As mentioned by Reuters, Shah also said that he enjoyed school as a child but that his family could not afford to continue his education. He was motivated by the older inmates who were taking classes, they even helped him prepare for exams. 

As quoted by Arab News, Shah said, "Believe me, that was the happiest moment of my life, during my 11 years inside the jail. I could not sleep all night."

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Shah is one of 1,200 inmates studying in Central Prison Karachi, but his success is unparalleled, said Saeed Soomro, deputy superintendent of the prison.

"His results are (also) tantamount to our success," Soomro said. 

Shah was convicted of murder in 2011 and he has been serving a 25-year sentence at the Karachi jail. Years spent as a prisoner on trial, plus time off for academic achievements, good behaviour and blood donations, leaves him with about six years to serve.

Also, important to note that Shah still has to pass an entrance exam to formally take up the scholarship, an ICAP official said, requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to talk to the media. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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