"Akhtar is a proven match-winner and his return has strengthened our bowling attack"
"He is vital to our team and bowled at full throttle in the two practice matches. I'm hopeful he will give his best against India and Scotland".
Malik said that Akhtar had found his rhythm at the two-week training camp held at an army base in Abbottabad. Akhtar had missed the 2007 World Cup due to an injury and was not selected for the Abu Dhabi ODI series against Sri Lanka in May as he had not yet fully recovered.
Akhtar had made the last of his 133 one-day appearances against England in September last year. He played only one Test this year, damaging his hamstring on the second day of the second Test against South Africa at Port Elizabeth.
Akhtar, ahead of a busy season for Pakistan, told AFP "I am gearing up for the full season. I hope I keep fit and play a lead role, especially in our home series against Australia.
"I know my fitness will play a major part, but I am confident that I will play my role this season as we have three very important series,"
"This is the best I have felt in my entire career. I hope this is a new start for me and I will do my best to play continuous cricket. I know what is required of me in Tests as well as in one-day internationals and I am ready to play my part."
Malik sought to dispel concerns about differences within the team.
"There has been a lot of talk about differences in the team but there is no credibility to it. I have the full backing of the seniors and there are no problems,"
Malik led Pakistan to a 2-1 win over Sri Lanka in a one-day series in Abu Dhabi in May, which he said put the team back on track after the World Cup and the death of coach Bob Woolmer in Jamaica.
"We did well to beat Sri Lanka as they were the losing finalists in the World Cup. The match against India will be a another big test for us,"
"I hope we enter the ground with an aim to win because after this tour we must prepare for the Twenty20 World Championships and then a hectic season awaits us,"
Pakistan are set to host South Africa after the Twenty20 World Championships and world champions Australia early next year.
Pakistan face Scotland in Edinburgh on July 1 and then play India at Glasgow on July 3 during their short tour.