Pervez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan
"I think now, frankly, he is dead for the reason he is a ... kidney patient.... I don't know if he has been getting all that treatment in Afghanistan now. And the photographs that have been shown of him on television show him extremely weak.... I would give the first priority that he is dead and the second priority that he is alive somewhere in Afghanistan." -Interview with CNN. January 18, 2002
Throughout his tenure, the former Pakistani president repeatedly denied or downplayed reports that bin Laden was hiding in his country. Musharraf's oft-stated opinion was that whether or not bin Laden was still at large "doesn't mean much" -- the threat to his regime from Taliban-linked militants in the country's northwest was much greater. In a 2010 interview after he had left office, Musharraf wouldn't say for sure whether he would have handed bin Laden over to the United States, calling it a "difficult question of answer" because of the "great sensitivities" surrounding the al Qaeda leader.
Responding today to the news of bin Laden's death, the former president called it a "positive step," but criticized the United States for violating Pakistani sovereignty in the operation. "It's a violation to have crossed Pakistan's borders," he said.