Pakistan is to release from jail a top Afghan Taliban leader to help speed the peace process.

The release of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar would "further facilitate the Afghan reconciliation process," a pakistan foreign ministry spokesmen said.

The ministry did not say if Baradar would be repatriated to Afghanistan or sent to a third country.

Baradar is the Afghan Taliban's former deputy leader and the group's most senior member in detention.

He was one of the four men who founded the Taliban movement in 1994 and was arrested by Pakistani security forces in a join operation with the CIA in Karachi in 2010.

The Afghan government had urged his release to ease peace talks with the Taliban. Baradar is seen as a moderate figure able to lead the Taliban in transition from armed militia to political force.

Another 26 Taliban prisoners have been freed over the past year, the Pakistani foreign ministry recently revealed.

Most Nato troops deployed to Afghanistan are to pull out by the end of 2014