New Delhi: Ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks, Pakistan today dismissed the suggestion that it was conducting a "sham trial" of the accused and said the process is being speeded up.
"The fact is that the executive is doing, the prosecution is doing all that it can. Now this trial is being speeded up. Let me tell you that," Pakistan`s outgoing High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir said.
He made these remarks in CNN-IBN`s Devil`s Advocate programme when told that the perception in India is that a sham trial being stage in Islamabad.
He said that notwithstanding what people question, "the fact is the legal system, the judicial system is more or less the same on both sides. Both sides need to cooperate more to get this expedited".
Asked for his reaction over the fact that during the past five years, the judge has been changed six times and court adjourns immediately after meeting, Bashir said it was "unfortunate" that the whole post-26/11 scenario has not been quite objectively understood in India.
He also sought to dismiss the content in a new book `The Siege` which not only suggests that LeT leader Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a key person allegedly under trial and in jail, enjoys conjugal visits from his wife but gives evidence against Hafiz Sayed`s involvement in the terror attack.
"I don`t think that is quite an accurate description... The narrative needs to be checked," he said. To a pointed question on whether Pakistan will act against the accused, he said, "We like to be considered as a country governed by the rule of the law. If there is something A, B or C has violated, he ought to be picked up."
Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan, T C A Raghavan had even said the trial was in the "freezer" for long.
"We were deeply concerned about the lack of any progress in the Mumbai case. The Mumbai case must be recognised as very important in terms of Indian public sentiment," he had said earlier this week.
The seven Pakistani suspects have been charged with planning, financing and executing the attacks.
Pakistan has acknowledged that the conspiracy behind the attacks was hatched on its soil.
However, it had claimed that India has not provided enough evidence for action against the accused, a charge vehemently denied by New Delhi.
India had also recently handed over five key documents running into nearly 600 pages for use in the trial here so that prosecutors can proceed against the seven accused.
The documents include a certified copy of the Indian Supreme Court`s judgement on the Mumbai case, depositions by two doctors who conducted the autopsy of the nine slain terrorists and the chief investigating officer who probed the case, and summons to witnesses.
Two other documents contain proceedings of the Pakistani judicial commission that visited Mumbai last month, an application for producing articles recovered from the terrorists by the Pakistani senior public prosecutor, official sources said.