Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said that it has put the trial of seven Mumbai attack suspects on the fast track and India will be accountable for any delay in carrying out the proceedings and for deciding on a request to allow a judicial commission to interview key officials there.

"As far as apprehending those responsible for the attacks is concerned, seven accused are in jail. Their trial is being conducted properly and we have put it on fast track," Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters at the Karachi airport on Thursday morning.

"The delay in that trial is not on our part because we had a demand for a judicial commission (to visit India). Our Interior Secretary met their Home Secretary and we spoke of our request for the judicial commission (and we hope) India will respond to that and allow it," he said.

More evidence needed for action

In a response to Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram's remarks on Wednesday that confidence between the two countries cannot be restored till Pakistan takes action against the "real culprits" behind the Mumbai incident, Malik indicated that New Delhi should provide more evidence to enable Islamabad to act against other suspects.

Indian and American officials have said that Pakistani authorities arrested seven persons, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, largely on the basis of  information provided by India and the US.

However, their trial by an anti-terrorism court has been marred by a series of delays for technical reasons, diplomatic sources said.

Chidambaram said India had asked Pakistan to arrest five more suspects, including an Inter-Services Intelligence officer identified only as Major Iqbal.

This officer was allegedly the handler of Pakistani-American David Headley, who played a key role in planning and conducting surveillance for the Mumbai attacks.

Malik contended that India needs to provide more proof for Pakistan to act against individuals like Major Iqbal.

"Believe me, I don't have an Aladdin's lamp that if someone says I should apprehend Major Iqbal, I will be able to do it. Major Iqbal is a generic name. I had sent them 36 questions about Headley but I have not got a reply as yet," he said.

Headley testimony rubbished

The Interior Minister again sought to rubbish Headley's testimony at the Chicago trial of Tahawwur Rana, another key suspect in the Mumbai incident.

He said Headley, whose father was from Pakistan, was a "double agent".

"I think the Indian law enforcers and authorities realise in their hearts that he was and is a double agent. He makes nine visits to India, so many visits to Pakistan and Europe. Where did he get the finances from? Somebody must have been giving it," he said.

Malik also raised India's investigation of the 2007 bombing of the Samjhauta Express cross-border train in which 42 Pakistanis were killed.

He contended that Indian "intelligence and forces" were behind the attack though the ISI was blamed. "Today their own (Indian)... investigators they have proof... that the attack on the Samjhauta Express was not done by Pakistan's ISI. I have requested that the accused should be handed over... we will ask for the accused because they killed Pakistanis," Malik said.

Pak serious about trial

Malik said he wished that the people and authorities in India should realise the thing that Pakistan is "very serious" about the trial of the seven suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks "but you know how long does it takes in the given system".

"I assure you that, under our laws, these culprits will not be spared. They will be brought to justice because we mean business and we will not allow Pakistani soil to be used by any terrorist," he said.

(Agencies)