'This Week' Transcript: Economic Panel

That said, nationally, the Pakistani media is not covering the U.S. relief effort very closely. They're focusing -- perhaps not surprisingly -- on the Pakistani relief effort. And in a sign of the sensitivity of simply being associated with the U.S., the U.S. will not identify local Pakistani NGOs that it's giving aid to so it doesn't open up the risk that they're subject -- that they're targeted for terror attacks.

AMANPOUR: And, Jim, very quickly, the Pakistani troops, are they being diverted from fighting the militants?

SCIUTTO: Well, there are 50,000 Pakistani troops involved in this relief effort. Pakistani officials say that none of them have been diverted from the border or from counterterror operations. And U.S. officials that we've spoken to today say they believe those reassurances. And they say, Christiane, that counterterror operations with the Pakistanis are underway as we speak.

AMANPOUR: Jim, thanks so much, from Islamabad.

And in response to my questions on the disaster, you can see comments from U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke on our Web site at abcnews.com/thisweek.

And coming up next, the president's decision to weigh in on the controversial Islamic center near Ground Zero on our roundtable with Cokie Roberts, Matthew Dowd, David Ignatius, and Chrystia Freeland.

END

ABC News "This Week with Christiane Amanpour" Roundtable: Cokie Roberts, Matthew Dowd, David Ignatius, Chrystia Freeland Sunday August 15 2010

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): How is that healing, by building a mosque, an in-your-face mosque at Ground Zero?

(UNKNOWN): It's like spraying swastikas all over a Jewish memorial.

BLOOMBERG: We would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.

KING: This is such a sensitive issue. This, to me, is such a wrong place to have a mosque such as this.

OBAMA: I believe that Muslims have the right to practice their religion, as everyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan in accordance with local laws and ordinances.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: The president waded into the controversy over the Islamic center near Ground Zero, one of the topics that we'll be discussing this morning in our roundtable, with political strategist Matthew Dowd, Chrystia Freeland of Thomson Reuters, David Ignatius of the Washington Post, and our own Cokie Roberts. George Will is still on vacation.

Thank you all for joining us. You did see that speech by the president on Friday night at the Iftar Ramadan dinner at the White House. Why do you think he said that then?

ROBERTS: I think he said that then because he actually believes that, but the real question is, why that he didn't say the next day something more? Do you want to talk about that?

AMANPOUR: Yes, we do, because we're going to put up some poll numbers and just show everybody what the poll numbers are on this issue. One poll says, when they ask about what people think about the plan to build the mosque, that only 30 percent say it's appropriate and 64 percent say it's wrong, but when they say do the Muslim group have a right to build the mosque, 61 percent say yes and 34 percent say no.

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