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

Pakistan on Monday claimed it had found no evidence of the involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar in the Pathankot terror attack.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into India's allegations of involvement of the Pakistan-based terror group in the 2 January attack on the Pathankot air force base. Pakistan conducted raids and arrested JeM leaders last month. 

However, the investigation team has now claimed it has found no evidence that JeM chief Masood Azhar had planned the attack, The Express Tribune reports.

Six terrorists, believed to be from Pakistan, had attacked the Pathankot base and left seven Indian security personnel dead.

Who is Masood Azhar?

Azhar had fought the Soviets in Afghanistan and then gone 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 in 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, which means the Army of the Prophet.

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