Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday clarified that the notification on cattle sale for slaughter will not interfere with the state laws. “Every state has its own legislation or no legislation. You have provision in the Constitution — Article 48 (directive principles) — which says that certain category of animals have to be protected… there are two categories of states, some which have prohibited slaughter, some which have not. Those laws are continuing,” Jaitley said at a press conference while responding to a question about three chief ministers, who have opposed the ban.
Jaitley said that the Centre’s notification only deals with those buying cattle from farmers. “This clarification, which has come, has nothing to do with the state legislations. This is only (for) which is the place of sale… is this farmers’ market meant for those involved in the slaughter trade or not. This is the only effect of the notification. Nothing to do with whether you can slaughter or not slaughter…’’
Jaitley, who is also the defence minister, said that India had taken “significant steps” to ease the situation with Pakistan, but Islamabad has prevented the environment necessary for talks. He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to drop in at Lahore at a function of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family was intended to ease tensions. “But each one of these (steps) have been responded by, let us say, a Pathankot or a Uri or by mutilation of two of our soldiers. And, therefore, that environment, which must exist for a talk, has been successfully prevented.’’
Jaitley added that days after two soldiers were beheaded, the Army launched “punitive fire assaults” on Pakistani positions across the Line of Control (LoC), inflicting “some damage”. “I do not want to get into the strategic details but in the past few weeks, our armed forces are dominating the LoC. Our security forces have been maintaining control over the situation.’’
Jaitley said that security forces have been able to build up a lot of pressure on foreign insurgents and militants in Kashmir. He admitted that the situation was challenging in South Kashmir, but added that the situation was not as bad in the Valley as it was made out to be. “I would recommend that you too visit Kashmir, whatever impression we get here, the situation is actually much better than that. We stayed there for the three-day GST meet. Only some areas were tense, Srinagar was quite normal.’’