JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar
India to raise ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar with China Picture: Maulana Masood Azhar (C) is surrounded by Pakistani police and his armed guards at Islamabad's Lal Mosque (Red Mosque) in Melody Market.Reuters

India on Friday formally approached the United Nations Security Council to call for Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar to be designated a terrorist. Indian authorities believe Azhar masterminded the Jan. 2 Pathankot terror attack that left seven Indian security personnel dead. 

India submitted a formal request to the United Nation's 1267 committee on Friday, according to reports. 

External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said Thursday that India would move to include Azhar in the list of terrorists. 

"I can confirm to you that we will be moving the 1267 committee to also include the name of Masood Azhar on the sanctions list," he said, according to IANS

"It is a matter of great anomaly that the organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed is listed but not its leader," Swarup said. 

Earlier this week, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said that India had submitted the names of 11 individuals and one organisation to the UN's Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

A Pakistan official confirmed to Indian media this week Azhar has been kept under "protective custody" in Pakistan following the Pathankot terror attack. 

Azhar had been arrested in India in 1994 but was freed in 1999, along with two terrorists, in exchange for the 155 passengers on board an Air India plane to Kandahar that was hijacked.