This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," September 25, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Earlier today, Alan and I spoke with the president of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, who's also the author of the brand new book just out today, "In the Line of Fire".
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Mr. President, welcome. Thank you for being with us.
PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, PRESIDENT, PAKISTAN: Thank you, my pleasure.
COLMES: Mr. President, much has been made in the run-up to this release of your book today about what you say in the book about a threat from the United States. Richard Armitage, who basically threatened to bomb you if you didn't cooperate, saying, "Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age."
Could you tell us about that conversation?
MUSHARRAF: Yes, indeed, I will. But first of all, let me say that Mr. Armitage is a great friend of mine and I have clarified his position in the book that, subsequently, he became a great friend of mine and I really respect him. And I cherish my friendship with him.
However, was— he didn't contact me directly. This was said to the DDISI, the boss or head of intelligence of Pakistan, who then conveyed this to me on telephone. So it's not by direct contact, but this is what I was told by the DDISI.
COLMES: Prior to that you'd been told by Colin Powell, you say in the book, "you're with us or against us."
COLMES: This is a continuation of that conversation.
MUSHARRAF: Colin Powell rang me up. He was the first person to contact me. And he said this on terrorism. And I didn't hesitate to say that we are with you on the issue of terrorism — to fight terrorism. There was no doubt in my mind that that is in our interest. And we were the victim of terrorism actually.
COLMES: The United States denies that the language was that harsh, but you are saying that this is exactly how it took place?
MUSHARRAF: Well, he didn't speak directly to me. It is what the DDISI told me. And that's the reality. Whatever I mentioned is a fact.
HANNITY: Mr. President, welcome. Thank you for being with us.
In one of more compelling and scary parts of your book you discuss multiple assassination attempts on your life. Tell us the story, in particular the one where the bomb went off and you say your Mercedes was lifted off the ground.
There was an opening and an island in between the dividers of the road where a person could take a U-turn and there was a petrol pump on the right. When I ran my car, it exactly came to that point of that opening, there was one vehicle coming from the opposite direction, trying to get into our lane. Right at that moment, it exploded. Big explosion, and everything came on the car. And it was all darkness and flying objects. And the driver put his foot on the brake, reflexively. And then I told him to move ahead. There was a Glock lying right on the side, and I took this to myself because I knew something is happening.
Then I told him to press on, we pressed on and then in another second we reached 100 yards — meters away, actually, at the next pump on the right. There was a vehicle and it exploded, and everything came directly on the car. And that was the time when really the tires went off, and we went on the rims and reached home.
HANNITY: Why do you think there are these multiple efforts at assassination for you? And what would Pakistan be like if you were out of the picture?
MUSHARRAF: Oh, well, why do they do it? Obviously, I'm standing in their way. And I'm standing in their way for Pakistan, basically, and for the region and for the world. Because I think we are very, very clear that that is not the way that Pakistan would like to progress and move forward.
COLMES: Is that part of what you are facing because of your alliance with the United States? And what are some of the other political ramifications of your alliance with our country?
MUSHARRAF: The problem is that at the government level we are doing very well. But the people, certainly, it will take time to normalize, and in the minds of the people the same feeling for the United States.
The people of Pakistan are certainly for fighting terrorism. But they somehow are not in favor or they are not happy, shall I say, with the relation with the United States.
But I think gradually, their understanding, that it is necessary and it is in the benefit of both. There is no doubt in my mind they understand that now. Although the people may not be liking the United States that much.
COLMES: You recently, it has been reported, made a deal with tribal leaders in border areas to help rid the area of Al Qaeda and Taliban. I'm curious to know how this could happen and aren't the loyalties of some of those tribal leaders kind of divided in that part of Pakistan that you don't totally control?
MUSHARRAF: These tribal leaders do have all the influence on the people. They were the leaders of the people before these Taliban emerged.
Now, what we are doing is through these tribal leaders we will be taking the people to our side. When we — the agreement that we have signed with them is very significant. The bottom line that we placed, No. 1, no Al Qaeda activity, on our side or across the border. No Taliban activity, on our side or across the border. No "Talibanization," and they signed this agreement.
Now, when you speak of we must understand what these tribals are they have their honor code. They have their honor. When they say something, they believe in upholding that and fighting anyone, opposing anyone who is opposing it. This is their honor.
So let's take them on board, and as it is who is going to recognize the Taliban from the non-Taliban-Partoon? They are the same people? Can the army do this? The Army won't even know. And even if it fails, the worst scenario. The so what we are back to the same position we were in.
COLMES: Now, more of our interview with Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf.
HANNITY: There's been a lot of news about Usama bin Laden in the news. One is a report that he is dead.
Second, there is a controversy over some remarks by the top Army spokesman that you had said that Bin Laden would remain in Pakistan if he were a peaceful citizen and then there is the controversy over the remarks of the president —Namely if President Bush knew that Bin Laden was in Pakistan he would go into Pakistan and get him. — And you took issue with that.
First, if he is dead no comment. — I don't know anything about it. And I checked up with my people. They don't know anything about it. Whoever said that I don't know. I wouldn't be able to substantiate.
Second, that has been misquoted. I knew the person who has been misquoted. And there was an apology on this, that this was totally misquoted. He never said it that way.
The third element is that we are hunting Usama and Zawahiri together. Both the United States and Pakistan forces are hunting for him. All I have to say is we have to get him.
COLMES: President Bush says he would take action inside Pakistan if he had intelligence showing Bin Laden was in the country. Would you prevent the United States from doing such a thing? Would you not want the United States to take action inside your country?
NUSHARRAF: We have decided that we, Pakistan forces, will operate on our side of the border and U.S. on the other side. It will be allied forces, including the United States.
That is the agreement. And as I said, when Usama information comes up, we'll see how we will deal with it.
HANNITY: One of the big things you address at length in your book is the issue of nuclear proliferation and some nuclear secrets that were given to North Korea and Iran and Libya by a gentleman by the name of A.Q. Khan . You ended up pardoning him. You've come under fire for that.
Why would you pardon him, considering the gravity of a situation where important information like that, and parts and centrifuges and a lot of other things were passed onto people that are hostile?
MUSHARRAF: Unfortunately, one should also look at what it would have meant domestically. On many things, the international poll is in one direction, and the domestic poll is in exactly the opposite one, complete opposite direction.
My job in the past has been going somewhere else somewhere in the center. And I have become an expert at that. He is a man in the street. Even now he is a hero.
HANNITY: Because he helped arm Pakistan with nuclear weapons.
MUSHARRAF: Yes, he is. He provided us with a nuclear weapon and showed us security, what resistance that we have. So he's known as the father of the atom bomb of Pakistan. So to the man in the street, he still is a hero.
Now, how you can do something to such a man without creating problems for Pakistan for the stability of — for ourself, for the government?
So, therefore, we are to take a very balanced action. While we removed him from the place. Even before this was revealed to me, I removed him from the job. I had removed him about eight months before, because I suspected something happening. And, therefore, I removed him. He's under house arrest.
HANNITY: You have a growing, vocal anti-American sentiment that is there. I want to you explain to our audience two things. Explain that balancing act for you. You talked about threading the needle politically moments ago.
And when the president used the term Islamic-fascist, is that the accurate term for the enemy that we face?
MUSHARRAF: No. There is no doubt that the people of Pakistan are very disturbed about whatever is happening in the Islamic world.
And when we open fronts like Lebanon , it further exacerbates the situation. It weakens all the moderates in the Muslim world. That includes me. And this kind of thing, because the Muslims are already feeling alienated, they are already feeling as if they are under attack.
And then when we — I would say that we should never use the word Islamic with whatever is happening. Islamic terrorists. Now, Islam doesn't believe in terrorism. It hurts people's sentiments. You can call terrorism terrorism. It has no religion. There are terrorists in Sri Lanka. Are we calling them Tamil terrorist? Hindu terrorists? They are Hindu.
HANNITY: Is that perverted religion, though, that hijacked a religion that kill in the name of religion?
MUSHARRAF: Yes. But then we — that's not — let's not attach a religion to it. Let's call them terrorists and when — whenever we attach religion to it people don't accept these.
Like if we take Pakistan's bomb it is called the Islamic bomb. People don't like that. I mean, why isn't the India bomb a Hindu bomb? Or why isn't Israel's bomb a Jew bomb? Why is it that the Pakistan bomb became an Islamic bomb? These are things which people don't like, really.
HANNITY: Would you advise the president to no longer use that term, President Bush?
MUSHARRAF: Well, he's a friend of mine. And I'm sure he understands sensitivities.
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