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Rubies, the buried and untapped treasures of Pakistani Kashmir

Lack of investment in infrastructure, techniques, and regulations stymies development of the gem industry

Above: An employee of Azad Kashmir Mineral and Industrial Development Corporation showing a ruby gemstone in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan- administered Kashmir.

Above: Pakistani labourers washing pieces of rocks outside a mine at a mountain to find gemstones in the Kashmiri town of Chitta Katha.

Chitta Katha, Pakistan

THE people of Pakistani Kashmir are sitting on a treasure chest: Millions of rubies, estimated to be worth up to half a billion dollars, are lying beneath them.

But archaic tools and a lack of investment in infrastructure and techniques are hampering efforts...

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