Talking to reporters on Tuesday during a break in the UN General Assembly session, Allawi said he had spoken to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and would be talking to him again.

"We hope that Pakistan will be able to help," Allawi said.

The United Nations and the United States have also encouraged Pakistan to contribute troops to a special contingent that would guard UN personnel.

But so far Pakistan and other Islamic countries have not made any commitments.

Poll pledge

Allawi insisted elections planned for January would go ahead despite the violence and reluctance by the United Nations to field a large staff to help prepare for the polls because of security concerns.

"We want to move forward the political process and to implement the elections in January," he said.

He recalled that in July many people said Iraq would not be able to hold a national conference in Baghdad.

"But we did. We brought people from all over the country and they came and participated very actively," Allawi said. "This was really a precursor of the elections in January. So we are adamant that these elections will take place".

"We are getting good support from most of the European countries. We are getting very good support from Arab countries and we are moving really forward," he said without elaborating.