Murphy's Law: Blood Emeralds


July 9, 2009: Illegal mining of gems (emeralds, rubies, topaz and tourmaline) is earning the Pakistani Taliban $100,000 a week. Afghanistan and Pakistan contain a third of the worlds emeralds, and a large percentage of other gems as well. But the mines in the tribal territories of Pakistan have been closed since the 1990s because of lawsuits, violence and government mismanagement. But earlier this year, as the Taliban drove government officials out of the area, they reopened some of the larger mines. The miners get to keep most of the proceeds from the  gems they found, but the Taliban took a third, and this buys arms and other equipment, with which to fight the Pakistani security forces. But as the army moves further into the tribal territories, the mines will be closed again, at least until the government gets it act together and reopens them.



Article Archive

Murphy's Law: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close