Transcript: Chris Cuomo Interviews Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF: Yes. Yes. Yeah, that's right. I mean, if you -- if you're giving a strategy with all American troops or coalition troops leave Afghanistan, and they help Pakistan in maintaining closing the border, sealing the border, help us seal the border, and then deal with the extremism in our-- on our side. And allow whatever happened in Afghanistan. Well, that is a different strategy. One could think of that. I never thought of that.

CHRIS CUOMO: Must not be a good idea then, because what do I know? The last time we spoke, we were talking about Osama bin Laden. He's always a hot topic whenever terrorism comes up. How close were you-- or let me ask it this way. Is it true that you were once close to capturing Osama bin Laden and the U.S. frustrated your efforts?

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF: No, not at all. That never happened. There was a time, some three or four years back, where there was some intelligence reports of a certain area we are probably-- probably there. And therefore, there was an intelligence effort which started focusing onto that area, to close the neck there. But then suddenly, that-- that link or that closing up-- that intelligence-- field. And we couldn't close up. And we lose all-- all hints.

CHRIS CUOMO: It wasn't about the U.S.


CHRIS CUOMO: The United States didn't make any mistake in the situation.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF: No, I don't think so. No. I don't know such a thing.

CHRIS CUOMO: And I also asked you the last time we were together. If the Pakistanis were to capture Osama bin Laden, would they deliver him to the United States?

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF: This is-- the policy that I followed, against al Qaeda, all foreigners, right from 9/11, we made a policy. Firstly, no Pakistani to be handed over to United States. Number two, any foreigner, first offer him to his country. If that country does not accept, hand him over to anyone. Don't keep him in Pakistan. Don't try him in Pakistan. I saw that out of the foreigners, the al Qaeda, not once did the country of his origin accepted. So therefore, we are not interested (UNINTEL), so that policy ought to be followed.

CHRIS CUOMO: Even with Osama bin Laden?



CHRIS CUOMO: But wouldn't it be--

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF: But I think it's better not to capture him.

CHRIS CUOMO: It's-- you think it's better not to capture him.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF: Shouldn't be-- don't increase problems.

CHRIS CUOMO: So you're saying just leave him alone? Or you're saying if you find him, you should kill him?

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF: Well, one-- well, I wouldn't like to comment on that-- but-- capturing and taking him somewhere has its own-- problems.

CHRIS CUOMO: The reluctance to deal with this question, to the American perspective, speaks to the cultural problems for Pakistan of fighting against the Taliban, that there's too many connections between the two cultures for Pakistan to really take them on. It's too close to home. Too many of your people may be sympathetic to the Taliban. Is that fair criticism?

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