In any event, different sides seem to block any solution to the current stalemate—especially given the aforementioned lack of a clear government line on the mines. In the end, things are so unclear that not even Malik (nor anyone else, for that matter) knows the current status of his apparently still pending nomination as commander of the mine protection force.
In view of all this, it is hard to see whether and which moves could break the political and personal intrigues between the main players surrounding the mines. This should not come as a surprise, though, as Afghanistan is riddled with such political and personal disputes, even reaching the top of the state, as seen by persisting rifts between the Afghan president and his chief executive. Hence, Afghanistan might sit on a richness of lapis lazuli and other natural resources, but occupied with infighting rather than finding solutions, appears unable to meaningfully exploit them for its much-needed development.
Franz J. Marty is a freelance journalist based in Kabul, Afghanistan, writing mainly on security and military issues. He can be followed @franzjmarty on Twitter.
Image: Mountains in Kuran Wa Munjan, Afghanistan. Wikimedia Commons/Falk Oberdorf