Thursday, October 29, 1998 Published at 14:59 GMT
World: South Asia
Afghan POWs set for release
The Taleban controls 90% of the country
The Taleban movement is Afghanistan has said it is planning the largest yet exchange of prisoners of war with the opposition.
In a country with few accurate statistics, the precise number of prisoners held by the two sides is unknown, but they both claim to have captured large numbers over the past few years.
A spokesman for the opposition commander, Ahmad Shah Massoud, said his side had already brought 100 Taleban prisoners to the frontline north of Kabul ready for exchange.
Both sides have acknowledged the part played in the agreement by, Sayed Jalal, a wealthy young Afghan intellectual, who works as a businessman in Saudi Arabia.
He has met the Taleban's supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and Mr Massoud separately to work for a longer term peace.
Last week Sayed Jalal secured the release of 50 Taleban prisoners from the opposition.
Mr Mutmaen said that during these exchanges there will be a ceasefire which will be purely for the purposes of the exchanges.
"The ceasefire is a temporary one only for the exchange of prisoners and does not mean that a political dialogue will start," he said.
There is said to be little fighting anyway at the moment.
Our correspondent in Kabul, William Reeve, reports that Taleban commanders at the frontline north of Kabul say they have been ordered not to fire even if the opposition fires on them.