Musharraf: Additional Troops Needed in Afghanistan

"Well, I give thought to what is happening in Pakistan. And I give thought to what the people of Pakistan are desiring, and I also give thought to whether I can do anything for Pakistan," Musharraf said. "Collectively, I have to make a decision based on all these three elements."

The former general, who is currently living in exile in London, is prohibited by law from running for political office until this December, two years after he took off his military uniform.

Should Musharraf decide to return to politics, he likely would face Nawaz Sharif, a political opponent and someone the former president called "abrasive" and confrontational.

"He has never been on good terms with any president of Pakistan, so I don't know what kind of a mental make-up he has. But the man is abrasive against the other power brokers of Pakistan," Musharraf said.

The former general even went so far as to call Sharif a "closet Taliban."

"Even on Pakistan television these days, talk shows are going on saying that he has met Osama bin Laden five times -- five times before 9/11 -- and he has been financed by Osama bin Laden," Musharraf said. "Then the other element is that he never speaks against terrorism and extremism."

But when pressed for proof of Sharif's meetings with bin Laden, Musharraf said he personally could not offer any.

"No, I can't do that, but there are certainly there are people who vouch for it, who were present there," Musharraf said.

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