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    Kapisa on road to stability, claim officials

    MAMOOD RAQI (PAN): The security situation seems to be on the mend in some districts of central Kapisa province, thanks to ongoing peace talks, officials and residents say.

    Reports say negotiations between the United States and the insurgents are underway, with the Taliban agreeing to open a political office in Qatar.

    In Kapisa, officials and residents see improvement in the security situation in some parts of the province. They are optimistic of greater stability in the near future.

    In the Taliban's strongholds of Ala Sai, Tagab, Nijrab and some eastern areas have witnessed a visible security improvement.

    The opening of the Taliban office in Doha would be a step toward a prosperous life in Afghanistan, said Mullah Mohammad, the Ala Sai district chief.

    He claimed support for insurgents among the people had declined, as they hoped for a durable peace in the region. He stopped short of giving further details.

    Shah Agha, a resident of the Pachagan area of Nijrab, said he had fought against Afghan and foreign troops for several years.

    "As I heard the Taliban are going to open a political office for peace talks, I laid down my gun and want to go to Iran for work to eke out a living there," he said.

    Agha added some of his comrades and 12 foreign fighters had parted ways with the Taliban after receiving reports that the insurgents were discussing a deal with the US. 

    However, Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said they had suspended their operations due to heavy snowfall in the province. Fighting would continue until all foreign troops withdrew from the country, he vowed.