Scroll.in: A recent investigation by Global Witness, an international non-governmental organisation working on corruption, conflict and natural resources, claimed mining of the precious stone in this remote region is funding illegal armed groups and driving extremism and corruption. But mining has now come to a virtual standstill. The Afghan government has cut off transport of what it declares illegally extracted lapis lazuli from mines that were taken over by armed militias in January 2014. The Chinese buyers have left Afghanistan and prices have plummeted depriving the region of its major source of income. Much of that stone passed through Pakistan to China, where it is used to make jewellery. Click here to read more (external link).