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US asks India-Pakistan to “work together with constructive dialogue to resolve their issues”

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Washington: The United States has asked India and Pakistan to continue to work together with effective dialogue to resolve the two countries’ long standing issues.

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“Obviously what we want to see are the tensions decrease,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told media on Thursday when asked about a Pakistani official’s reported threat to use nuclear weapons against India.

“And speculation about the potential use of nuclear weapons certainly isn’t doing anything to help decrease tensions, if in fact those comments were made,” he said.

Asked to comment on a new report by two US think tanks that Pakistan may have about 350 nuclear weapons in a decade or so, Kirby said he did not have a specific update regarding any talks with Pakistan on the nuclear issue.

“Obviously, these kinds of matters are matters we discuss with Pakistani leaders on a routine basis,” he said. “But I don’t have specific talks to talk to you about today.”

The US, Kirby said, was still “digesting” the think tank report.

“This is something, obviously, that we continue to focus on, I would say consistent with the President’s (Barack Obama) vision of a world without nuclear weapons.”

“Obviously, we continue to urge all nuclear-capable states, including Pakistan, to exercise restraint regarding furthering their nuclear capabilities,” he said.

The spokesman also praised India’s constructive role in Afghanistan and said the US would like other countries including China to play a similar role there.

“We want Afghanistan to be a good neighbour in the region, and they have many neighbours, and China and India are some of them,” Kirby said.

“And India has played a constructive role over the last several years inside Afghanistan, and we would look to other nations like China to do the same.”

“I think everybody in the international community could benefit from an Afghanistan that is secure and stable and prosperous,” Kirby said.

“And our message to the other partners is the same as it’s always been, which is we want to make sure that we’re all pulling on the same oars here to get Afghanistan to that better future.”

With inputs from IANS

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Microsoft Ready to Help Indian Startups, Says President Anant Maheshwari

Microsoft is focused as much on selling third party solutions as their own, and this co-sell motion has helped generate $8 billion in revenue for partners within 18 months

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Armed with a cutting-edge technology platform, a well-established partner organisation and an expansion of M12 venture fund, Microsoft is ready to help Indian startups across the spectrum embrace the next phase of growth, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said here on Monday.

India, which saw a tremendous growth in the startup space in the last couple of years, is now witnessing a growth in the business-to-business (B2B) tech startups coming up with innovative ideas to deal with local problems.

“With our intelligent tech expertise, deep focus on trust and unique global go to market partnering, we empower unicorns and startups to scale sustainably at a global level,” said Maheshwari.

“We remain excited about India’s entrepreneurial startup potential and will continue to accelerate it as a growth engine for the economy,” he added.

India witnessed a dramatic rise of eight unicorns in 2018 from among the start-ups across verticals as against a mere nine in six years from 2011 till 2017, according to IT industry apex body Nasscom.

The start-ups joining the select club for their valuation over $1 billion are Oyo Rooms (hospitality), Zomato and Swiggy (food delivery), Udaan (retailer marketplace), Byju’s, (edu-tech), Paytm Mall (e-tail), Freshworks (software programmer) and Policybazaar (digital insurance).

Maheshwari said Microsoft is uniquely positioned to support Indian startups to achieve scale and evolve from market ready to enterprise ready.

Microsoft, Taiwan AI
A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

The introduction of M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, in India in February is creating new value for startups, VCs and the company itself to maintain the pace and direction of innovation.

“M12 is looking at investing in innovators who have aligned their focus on cutting-edge technologies that better enable digital transformation. The portfolio development team at M12 is specifically built to help support and scale companies by leveraging the expansive resources of Microsoft,” said the company.

According to reports, venture capital investments in Indian tech business-to-business (B2B) start-ups have been trending upwards, with over $3.09 billion raised in equity funding across 415 deals in 2018 — 28 per cent more than $2.41 billion in 2017.

Also Read: Facebook’s Push to Become China’s WeChat May Kill it

Under the “Microsoft for Startups” initiative, startups can co-sell with Microsoft sales teams, get access to top tech VCs in the global arena and mentorship from industry veterans.

In less than 18 months, Microsoft for Startups has closed more than 120 co-sell deals with more than $126 million in active pipeline for startups.

Microsoft is focused as much on selling third party solutions as their own, and this co-sell motion has helped generate $8 billion in revenue for partners within 18 months. (IANS)