Obama won't back Mullen's claim on Pakistan

AP News
Posted: Sep 30, 2011 3:11 PM
Obama won't back Mullen's claim on Pakistan

President Barack Obama is declining to endorse strong criticism of Pakistan leveled by the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, while saying Pakistan must do more to deal with insurgents.

Obama was asked on a radio show Friday about Adm. Mike Mullen's claim that the Haqqani network "acts as a veritable arm" of Pakistan's intelligence agency.

The president said Mullen's statement "expressed frustration" over the insurgent safe havens in Pakistan. But Obama said "the intelligence is not as clear as we might like in terms of what exactly that relationship is."

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Obama added that whether Pakistan's ties with the Haqqani network are active or passive, Pakistan has to deal with it.

The administration had already sought to tone down Mullen's claim. Obama spoke on "The Michael Smerconish Program."