White House won't second Mullen on Pakistan

By the Associated Press | September 28, 2011 | 1:10 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is refusing to endorse controversial criticism of Pakistan leveled by the departing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked about Adm. Mike Mullen's claim in congressional testimony last week that the Haqqani insurgent network "acts as a veritable arm" of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

The comment has upset Pakistan and stirred concern among some U.S. officials at a time when the U.S. must work with Pakistan.

Carney said that Mullen's statement is "not language I would use."

But he said the comment is "consistent with our position" and tried to dismiss questions about it as a "matter of semantics."

Carney reiterated that the Haqqani network has safe havens in Pakistan and Pakistan needs to take action to address that.