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Seemingly unfazed at being ousted from the Asian Athletics Association, scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi on Monday said losing the presidential re-election bid to Qatar’s Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad has actually given him a chance to work at the “grassroots” level.
“I have no issues today and I congratulate Mr Al-Hamad for being elected as President. I am rather relieved that I will be able to work at the grassroots level in athletics,” Mr. Kalmadi said after losing the vote during the ongoing AAA Congress in Pune.

National News

India, US to discuss AfPak issues Monday

Saturday - Jan 16, 2010, 06:45pm (GMT+5.5)
[+] Text [-]

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Ahead of the London conference on Afghanistan, US special envoy Richard Holbrooke will hold talks with Indian officials Monday over ways to shore up stability in the violence-torn country and the role of
regional neighbours in the reconstruction process.

Holbrooke, US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan (AfPak), flies in here from Islamabad Sunday.

He is expected to hold discussions on the evolving situation in Afghanistan with National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and senior officials of the external affairs ministry, official sources said.

He will call on External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Monday. Krishna will represent India at the London conference set for Jan 28, which is co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and United
Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.

This is the first visit by a senior official of the Obama administration after the US president announced his new AfPak policy of sending another 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan and a tentative plan to withdraw troops by July 2011.

India is likely to remind the US about the dangers of any premature exit plan that could leave Afghanistan at the mercy of Taliban extremists with suspected linkages to elements across the border in Pakistan.

India is expected to announce new development initiatives at the day-long London conference that will reinforce $1.3 billion aid it has already pledged for the reconstruction of that country.

The current freeze in India-Pakistan relations will also figure in the discussions.



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