The UN Security Council has dropped five prominent Taliban members from its sanctions blacklist under an ambitious national reconciliation plan of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The five were identified as Abdul Satar Paktin, Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad Awrang, a former Afghan envoy to the UN, Abdul Salam Zaeef, Abdul Samad Khaksar and Muhammad Islam Mohammadi.
Khaksar and Mohammadi are now deceased, Austria's UN mission here announced on Friday.
Austria chairs the UNSC panel that maintains a blacklist of individuals and groups linked to Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
The list has 137 Afghan nationals and they are subject to travel ban and asset freezes under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 adopted in 1999.
As part of his efforts to promote national reconciliation, Karzai had requested UNSC to drop the names of some Taliban members who were not linked to Al Qaeda from the terror blacklist.
Kabul has set pre conditions for peace talks with Taliban militants, asking them to shun violence, accept the country's constitution and cut links with Al Qaeda.
At the July 20 International Conference on Afghanistan, Karzai had renewed his call to Taliban to lay down arms and join the peace process and outlined his commitment to take charge of the nation's security by 2014.
Removal of any person from the blacklist requires unanimous nod from all 15 members of the Security Council's sanctions panel.