Allawi urges Pakistan to send troops

Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has requested Pakistan to contribute troops to the US-led forces in his country.

    The Iraqi leader also met US President George Bush

    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.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    FGM: The last cutting season

    FGM: The last cutting season

    Maasai women are spearheading an alternative rite of passage that excludes female genital mutilation.

    'No girl is safe': The mothers ironing their daughters' breasts

    Victims of breast ironing: It felt like 'fire'

    Cameroonian girls are enduring a painful daily procedure with long lasting physical and psychological consequences.

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    For Ethiopia, a new dam holds the promise of much-needed electricity; for Egypt, the fear of a devastating water crisis.