NEW YORK - Former President Pervez Musharraf has urged the West to help in transforming the Muslim world through socio-economic means and resolving the disputes, involving them, with justice.“All political disputes after World War II involved Muslim countries. Muslims were on the receiving end,” he told a large gathering in an auditorium at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey late Friday.“Anger and frustration developed towards the Muslim world, leading to religious and military misperceptions, that maybe Islam is a religion that tolerates or promotes extremism.”“The Clash of Civilizations” is totally erroneous,” Musharraf said, speaking of Samuel Huntington’s theory that people's cultural and religious identities would be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. The West must show patience and assist in transforming the Muslim world through socio-economic means, he argued. “Military victories must always be converted into political victories,” he said. “The military just buys time.” Musharraf traced the seeds of distrust of the West in South Asia to the post-colonial era. Apart from Turkey, the Muslim world was colonised for two centuries, Musharraf said. Post-World War II independence brought a “tussle between the agrarian, backward, radicalized people and the urban progressive enlightened moderates that continues till today.”But societies cannot be forced toward progress, Musharraf said. “Societal change must come through transformation. Change takes time.”The former president outlined what he considered some of the biggest “blunders” made in the region, beginning in 1979, when, following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the US and its allies “armed the Mujahideen to the teeth” and launched a holy war.“They called it Jihad to draw in Mujahideen from around the world to fight the Soviets,” he said. “We trained, armed and pumped in Taliban from tribal areas of Pakistan. The infamous names in terror are all products of the 1980s.”What followed was a “period of disaster,” Musharraf said, during which time; warlords ravaged the country and 4 million refugees fled to Pakistan. “There was no support for Pakistan for 12 years. We are victims of circumstance in the region, not perpetrators,” he said. “The people of Pakistan thought they had been used and betrayed. That was the start of an antipathy toward the U.S.”The only chance Afghanistan has for peace, Musharraf posited, is another Misaq-e- Milli, or a covenant between the four tribal groups of the country that existed for 250 years before Soviet invasion.The political vacuum in the country, following the toppling of the Taliban, lasted for two long years because the US and the allied forces did not pull all of the ethnic groups into the government, Musharraf said.“If we are unable to leave some semblance of peace, the situation will be similar to 1989, with all ethnic groups fighting,” he said. “If the Taliban regain control, Pakistan will be their first victim.”What Pakistan needs now is sound leadership, he said: “I gave honest governance. I can do it again.”About his return to Pakistan, Musharraf said, “I am very happy anywhere in the world. But I think of a cause greater than myself. Even at the endangerment to myself, I need to go back.”He said though he is considered a dictator he believes he offered Pakistan real democracy.“The general perception in the West is that holding elections is the highest form of democracy,” he said. “Democracy starts with elections, but the essence of democracy is how the elected govern. Democracy is empowering people - particularly women and minorities - and allowing freedom of the media and human liberties”, he said. “I did all of this as president of Pakistan.”