Sadly, the Taliban are succeeding where Coase (and the Pakistan government) have failed.
The mountain of white marble shines with such brilliance in the sun
it looks like snow. For four years, the quarry beneath it lay dormant,
its riches captive to tribal squabbles and government ineptitude in
this corner of Pakistan’s tribal areas.
But in April, the Taliban
appeared and imposed a firm hand. They settled the feud between the
tribes, demanded a fat fee up front and a tax on every truck that
ferried the treasure from the quarry. Since then, Mir Zaman, a
contractor from the Masaud subtribe, which was picked by the Taliban to
run the quarry, has watched contentedly as his trucks roll out of the
quarry with colossal boulders bound for refining in nearby towns.