Pakistan has agreed to release a number of Taliban prisoners as part of efforts to kick-start stalled Afghan peace talks, according to officials from both countries.
Details emerged after Afghanistan's High Peace Council met military and civilian leaders in Islamabad.
A security official said seven "mid-ranking" Taliban figures had been released.
It is understood that Mullah Nooruddin Toorabi, the former hardline Taliban justice minister who ordered men to grow beards, is among the names agreed for release but not Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, deputy to Mullah Omar.
"We aren't too certain whether they can play an important role in peace negotiations but it is a positive gesture from Pakistan in helping peace efforts," an Afghan official told the Reuters news agency.
The Afghan peace process needs positive gestures.
Taliban negotiators broke off talks with the US in March while the Kabul government has yet to establish direct contacts with the group
Few expect much meaningful progress before 2014 when international forces are due to leave.
Pakistan, which maintains close relations to insurgent groups, has long been accused of hedging its bets in Afghanistan, allowing the Afghan Taliban to maintain safe havens on its soil so that Islamabad can maintain influence should they ever return to power.
Critics also accuse Pakistan of holding Taliban figures in prison in order to control any peace talks.
But for the past year, senior Pakistani ministers have insisted they have no interest in upsetting talks or destabilising Afghanistan.
A senior official said the government would do whatever Afghanistan wanted in the interests of peace.
"This offer is not an act of altruism. Any instability in Afghanistan means instability for Pakistan," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"A peaceful and happy Afghanistan means a peaceful and happy Pakistan."
An Afghan government official in Kabul told The Daily Telegraph a prisoner release had been one of three demands taken to Islamabad by the peace council delegation.
Envoys had also asked for access to the Taliban?s high command, or Quetta Shura, and for Pakistan to stop rocket barrages into Afghanistan?s Kunar province.
The last two are considered unlikely to be granted because they would involve acknowledging that Islamabad was sheltering the Taliban and shelling Afghanistan.
In particular, the Afghan government wants the release of Mullah Baradar, Taliban deputy leader, who is widely believed to have been arrested early in 2010 after making peace overtures to Kabul without Pakistan's consent.
It is also seeking the release of Mullah Toorabi, notorious hardliner during the Taliban regime and influential in drawing up strict ?vice and virtue? edicts which governed how people could dress and behave, the official said.
However he was said to have mellowed in exile after 2001 and in 2005 met his previous colleagues in Abbottabad and Peshawar to consider making peace with Kabul. He was arrested soon afterwards.
The peace council believes both men could play a role in embryonic peace contacts.
Kabul believes that in total there are about 30 Taliban leaders in prison in Pakistan.