General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's former army chief and president, talks to Al Jazeera's Tony Harris about his thoughts post-9/11 and his country's role on the 'war on terror'.
The West treated him as a pariah after he seized control in a military coup in 1999. But after the events of Semptember 11, 2001 Musharraf became a key US ally in the US struggle against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
The relationship with Washington put him in a collision course with Islamist fighters inside his country. And after a series of domestic challenges, he stood down as army chief to continue ruling as a civilian. His party was defeated in elections held in 2008 and faced with possible impeachment, Musharraf stepped down as Pakistan's president.
He has been living in exile since 2008, but there are plans to make a return to Pakistan for elections in 2012, with his new political party.
"In 1996, when the Taliban emerged on the scene and they controlled 90 per cent of Afghanistan ... I always said we should change strategy we should recognise them and then moderate them from within ... had we done that maybe we would have even solved this impasse on Osama bin Laden and got him extradited from there - meaning 9/11 may never have happened."
Pervez Musharraf, the former president of Pakistan, in conversation with Al Jazeera's Tony Harris