MULTAN, Oct 30: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday urged farmers to avoid selling their crops at cut prices because the industrialists had no other option but to purchase cotton from the local market.

Speaking at a workshop on BT cotton, organised by the Bahauddin Zakariya University’s Biotechnology Department, the foreign minister claimed that the industrialists would not be able to import cotton due to dollar appreciation.

He said the government had announced the procurement prices of cotton, rice and other crops and the farmers should not worry about the current market situation.

“What we need to do is fight the multiple challenges, that is, economic crisis, electricity, water and gas shortage, instead of bickering about the issues for which the previous government was responsible.”

In order to make political gains, he said, the previous government had issued fabricated statistics about economy and did not generate even a single megawatt of electricity.

The foreign minister said some ‘vested interests’ were creating an impression that the country was on the verge of default but “it is my promise that neither the country will default nor will the government freeze accounts”.

He said two science and technology universities would be established, one in Multan and the other in Lahore.

Bahauddin Zakariya University Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Zaffarullah said the agriculture sector was facing huge losses despite being the major contributor to economy.

“We can make up for the losses with the help of engineering and biotechnology,” he said, requesting the foreign minister to help in release of funds for the construction of the biotechnology department building.

DAWAT-I-ISLAMI: The three-day congregation of Dawat-i-Islami will begin at Sher Shah, on the outskirts of the city, on Friday (today).

A tent city has been established for the people coming to the congregation. The Pakistan Railways is operating special trains for the people coming to the congregation from various parts of the country.

The district administration, police, Wapda, Wasa and health department have made special arrangements for the congregation.

A four-kilometre long underground cable has been laid to provide telephone facility to the participants. The congregation will conclude on November 2.