Masood Azhar Jaish-e-Mohammed
Pakistan has not confirmed whether Maulana Masood Azhar, head of Pakistan's militant Jaish-e-Mohammad party, has been arrested. In picture: Masood Azhar attends a pro-Taliban conference organised by the Afghan Defence Council in Islamabad August 26, 2001.Reuters

UPDATE 4:25 pm IST: The Ministry of External Affairs said in a press conference on Thursday that India had taken cognisance of Pakistan forming an investigation committee to look into the Pathankot attack and called the action on Jaish-e-Mohammed leaders a 'positive' step. 

"Action taken against JeM is an important and positive first step," said Vikas Swarup, the MEA spokesperson. 

"We look forward to the visit of Pak special investigation team and our investigative agencies will extend all necessary cooperation," he said. 

On the issue of the foreign-secretary-level meeting between India and Pakistan that will be rescheduled, Swarup said that the two foreign secretaries had "spoken to each other and agreed to reschedule their talks in the very near future."

Original story: 

The meeting between the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan that was slated for Friday will be rescheduled after the Pakistani foreign office said on Thursday that it was not aware of the arrest of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar. 

Azhar is believed to be the mastermind behind the 2 January Pathankot terror attack in India that left seven Indian security officials dead. Pakistani media reported on Wednesday that the JeM chief had been detained along with two other militants. 

The India-Pakistan talks will not be held on Friday, Khalilullah Qazi, spokesperson for Pakistan's foreign office said on Thursday, the Press Trust of India reported. ANI news agency cited sources saying that the talks will be held at a later stage. 

"Both countries are in contact to firm up the dates for the meeting of the two foreign secretaries," the Pakistani official said. 

Qazi also said that he was not aware of the arrests of the JeM militants, including Maulana Masood Azhar. 

The Pathankot attack had cast a shadow on the talks between India and Pakistan just as the two countries were seeing renewed ties. 

It was reported earlier that Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was likely to meet his Pakistani counterpart in a third country. 

Doval had indicated that talks with Pakistan would continue only if it took immediate action against those involved in the Pathankot attack.

Who is Masood Azhar? 

Azhar had fought the Soviets in Afghanistan and then went on to join Harkat-ul-Ansar, a Pakistan based Islamic militant outift. As the general secretary of the group, he brought several foreign fighters to Kashmir, including war veterans from Afghanistan, according to The Indian Express

In 1994, Azhar landed at Delhi's international airport and went on to visit the site of the demolished Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. The demolition of the 16th century mosque was said to have made Azhar turn his attention to India, according to Hindustan Times

Azhar was nabbed by Indian officials when he was in Srinagar just a few days after he arrived in India. 

He was released on 31 December, 1999, after an Air India plane to Kandahar was hijacked. Azhar was freed along with two terrorists in exchange for the 155 passengers on board the flight. 

A year after his release, Azhar founded the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which means the Army of the Prophet. 

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