The Taliban have been offered posts in the new Afghan government but have turned them down, the BBC understands.
The offer came from new President Ashraf Ghani in a bid to end the insurgency that threatens the recovery of the country.
More than three months after coming into office, President Ghani is due to announce the shape of his cabinet.
The process has been delayed because of disagreements with President Ghani’s partner, Abdullah Abdullah.
The president’s spokesman has denied that the jobs were formally offered.
But a source close to President Ghani said the government should be drawn “not just from the two teams, but from all parties in Afghanistan”.
The three men whom President Ghani had hoped to draw into his government were Mullah Zaeef, the former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, who has lived relatively openly in Kabul for some years, Wakil Muttawakil, the former Taliban foreign minister, and Ghairat Baheer, a close relative of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whose forces are allied to the Taliban.