Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, widower of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was interviewed earlier this montha on CNN's Larry King Live. Here are excerpts:
LARRY KING: Now, Mr. President, aside - aside from the gunmen themselves, who do you believe was responsible for the terrorist attacks against Mumbai?
ZARDARI: Larry, I think these are stateless actors who have been operating all throughout the region. The gunmen, plus the planners, whoever they are, they're all stateless actors who are holding hostage the whole world.
KING: So the state of Pakistan is in no way responsible, you're saying, right?
ZARDARI: And the state of Pakistan is . . . in no way responsible. That I believe even the White House and the American CIA have said that today. The state of Pakistan is, of course, not involved. We are part of the victims, Larry. I'm a victim. The state of Pakistan is a victim. We are the victims of this war. And I am sorry for the Indians. And I feel sorry for them. I've seen this pain. I feel this pain every time I see my children. I can see it in their eyes. This pain lives with me because of my wife and what we are going through in Pakistan.
KING: What do you believe is the responsibility, if any, of - I want to get this right - Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group that's aimed at ending your - or Indian rule, rather - in Kashmir? Do you think they're involved?
ZARDARI: That's a banned organization, Larry, in Pakistan and all around the world. If, indeed, they are involved, we would not know it. Again, they are people who operate outside the system. They operate like - al-Qaeda, for instance, is not state-oriented. They operate something on that mechanism. And we would love to - I've already offered to India full cooperation on this incident. And we intend to do that.
KING: All right. Pakistan - you've called on India to produce evidence of the complicity of any Pakistani group in the attacks. If it's produced, what would you do?
ZARDARI: I would - my government would take action. Our government would take action. The democratic government of Pakistan would take action against the - all the actors and anybody who is involved.
KING: So you're firmly committed to getting at the root of this?
ZARDARI: Not just the root of this, I'm firmly committed to fighting terrorism per se. That's why we are fighting them every day, Larry.
KING: All right. Do you - during the campaign, President-elect Obama said he believes that if the United States is given actionable intelligence, it has the right to attack high-value terrorist targets in Pakistan with or without permission of the Pakistani government. What do you make of that?
ZARDARI: I think it's a misquote, Larry. The actual quote is that if we were not to take - if we did not take action, then the president-elect said he would take action. But that would never arise. The minute we get any actionable intelligence . . . given to us, we shall act ourselves.
KING: There are some suggestions that the more vehemently India calls on you to crack down on militants, the tougher, politically, it is for you to do so. Do you buy that?
ZARDARI: Larry, politics has never been easy - an easy place in Pakistan. And it's not easy to inherit from a dictator. So I - it's a difficult place. It's a difficult choice. But we will rise to difficult challenges.
KING: A couple of other things. There are many who believe that Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan. Are you trying to find him?
ZARDARI: Larry, the Americans and the world forces have been in Afghanistan and around my region and have much, much, much better technology and intelligence than we have. If you think he was there or anywhere around, they would have gotten before me. But in case I do get any intelligence and I do find out, we will definitely try and take the trophy ourselves, if we can.
KING: What would you do with him if you found him?
ZARDARI: That's a hypothetical question. Hopefully arrest and try him.
KING: In Pakistan?
ZARDARI: We can see. We can talk about it. It's a hypothetical question, Larry. First let's find him. Nobody has been able to find him in the past eight years.