Full Transcript of Musharraf Interview

Cuomo: Nuclear weapons. There has been concern now that with instability in Pakistan maybe the nuclear weapons will become vulnerable. What can you say to assure that they're safe?

Musharraf: : Well, I have assured a hundred times. We -- we have nuclear weapons. Now there was a time when these were being produced, but they were not under good custodial control. The first thing that I did when I came on the scene in '99, let us get them under custodial control. Meaning, thereby, let's have an organization, an institutional check, on the production, on the storage, on the handling. And let's have -- so therefore we created a national command of quality, which is a supreme body. And the President is the chairman. And minister, then military men, are the members. And we created an SPD. Strategic planning division. A separate area to assist the NCA to execute their orders. Cuomo: So it's multi-layered.

Musharraf: : And then -- and then there is a army-navy-air force strategic force command. We created this in 2000. Everything that we have are now under this organization. Fully controlled. While the security and finances were decentralized initially in the '90s, now they are centralized with the SPD. So therefore the security, the financial control, the developmental control, the employment control is all institutionalized. And I'm very sure they are very -- very well under control.

Cuomo: Are you any closer to a deal with Benazir Bhutto to share power?

Musharraf: I'm not dealing -- I'm not into any deal with anyone. We are in a stage where we have to have free, fair, transparent elections. Now whoever wins, then that is a time that there will be a requirement of coalition, if at all it's a hung parliament. So if I start dealing now, what -- how can I do that? What about the other political party? How do we know she's going to win? Let -- let her win the election first.

Cuomo: But haven't you been dialoguing with Benazir about working together as a coalition?

Musharraf: : Yes, dialoguing. We were dialoguing. That was a time when she was out and there was cases and there were -- so therefore we -- we went on a policy of national reconciliation. Political reconciliation. And this happened. The dialoging with her. [unintelligible]...return Nawaz Sharif. This was through political reconciliation process that we decided. And that is what happened. But if we are to get into a coalition with her, how can I? I'm not leading a party, first of all. And if at all she wins, then only -- it's the political party who need to be having -- developing relationships.

Cuomo: It's -- it's an interesting question. Because now you've taken off the uniform. The military is not necessarily your position strength now. I know they're your friends and I know they back you and it's a half a century of history. I understand that.

Musharraf: OK.

Cuomo: But if the elections are free and fair and Sharif's party and Bhutto's party get a lot of power, does that force you, now as a political animal, to align yourself with some of the religious parties that are out there that have some fundamentalist leanings and compromise you politically? Have you thought about that?

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