History is the sum total of incidents, that take place in the social, economic or political life of a society, a community, a nation or a country. The documents are a record of those incidents and the manner in which they take place and shape those events. In that context, they play a critical role in the writing of history. They could be public records, records of societies or the private records. They are the primary source of history writing today. In the academic world today, if there are no records, there is no authentic history. In fact, scholars are expected to authenticate each statement with evidence. History by hearsay is a allegory or an anecdote. A record created after the event, with the advantage of hindsight, is a suspect document and not a dependable basis for history. Hence preservation of records for the posterity is the first step towards creating and writing of history.

2. Making them available for research is the next important step. I am glad that the Ministry of External Affairs, for the first time, took a major step, in making available a very large body of its records throwing light on the events since 1947. So far, the scholars working on India's foreign relations had to depend on the newspaper reports and other material available in the public domain to articulate the Indian position on bilateral and international issues. Quite often, the assessment based on secondary sources, resulted in not-soflattering conclusions. With the availability of the records now, there would be a fresh impetus to undertake a rigorous research on India's foreign relations.
3. In my three-decade service with the Ministry of External Affairs in various capacities, I dealt with a variety of issues. When preparing notes or briefs, at short notice, which invariably was the case, I faced the problem of getting hold of the earlier records, which were needed to make an in-depth analysis and a sound judgement of the issues under consideration. Since time was the essence, willy-nilly one had inevitably to make do with the papers/ reports readily available. It was not the ideal situation, but one had to be content, to make do, with what was readily available. While still in service, I had decided to make up for this deficiency after retirement by undertaking the publication of documents in original, in readily available volumes. Therefore when I retired in 1993, I decided to redeem my promise made to myself.
4. Looking back, at the two decades of my retirement, I am happy to say, that I am not disappointed with myself. Before undertaking the present study, I published three separate compendiums of documents on India's relations with Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Five Volumes each. The present ten volumes give me the satisfaction of having covered India's relations with four of its major neighbours.
5. Separately, I took the initiative to publish each year a volume on 'India's Foreign Relations' in cooperation with the Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs. As of today, ten volumes in this series, covering the period 2002 to 2011 have been published. These volumes showcase the documents bearing on India's foreign relations each year. Given the enlarged scope of foreign relations in the globalised world, several Ministries and Departments of the Government of India, besides, the Ministry of External Affairs contribute to the conduct of foreign relations, which are today multi-faceted. While the Ministry of External Affairs determines the broad framework and contours of the foreign policy and diplomacy, and is also the principal player in that field, several other Ministries and Departments complement its efforts in their respective spheres of activity. Foreign relations are no longer an instrument for interaction at diplomatic level alone. One looks up to them for procuring the sinews for development and progress in trade and industry, science and technology, education and agriculture and various other fields, like energy, climate change, investments etc. In short foreign relations are a product and interplay of multiple forces impinging on and promoting the country's national interest.
6. Before undertaking the present study on Pakistan, I had several hesitations and reservations. Enough material was not available in the earlier years. Given the scope and extent of India - Pakistan relations, in comparison to other neighbours, it was a daunting task. But Shri Shivshankar Menon, who as High Commissioner in Pakistan insisted that having successfully done similar projects on Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, I had gathered enough experience, which I should put to some more use. Soon thereafter, Shri Menon assumed the charge of Foreign Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. It was about this time that the Ministry under him, appreciating the need for transparency in administration in the age of RTI, and aware that in the absence of hard information, Indian story suffered by default, together with the argument of the research scholars and historians, that the classification of records was time related and lost its sensitivity once the operational requirement was over, decided to make available a substantial body of the Ministry's records for research. As luck would have it, I found that a large number of senior officials who in the last few decades had played crucial role in the conduct of India's foreign relations, particularly with Pakistan, had deposited their private papers with the Archives of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library at Teen Murti House in New Delhi. These papers belonged principally to P. N. Haksar, B. K. Nehru, T. N. Kaul, Y.D. Gundevia, Subimal Dutt and others and contained the correspondence, which threw fresh light on the subject of my immediate interest. These papers gave a very rich harvest, which in my opinion, has substantially enhanced the utility of the present effort. Encouraged by these developments, I decided to take the plunge. Five years of sustained work has enabled the study to see the light of the day and I feel satisfied and redeemed.
7. The arrangement of the documents presented a peculiar difficulty. In most of them, particularly in the letters exchanged between the leaders of the two countries and in the transcript of their discussions, there were always more than one subject and it was not possible to segregate them. Broad issues like Kutch, the Indus and the Ganga Waters, evacuee property, issues relating to the Minorities, Financial issues, Border demarcation, Passport and Visa etc., have been grouped separately under relevant heads. But there were many other issues, of which, documents could not form an independent group. These have been placed under the head 'Political Relations'. Even in the case of groups, which have been independently dealt with, a lot of material relevant to them, will be found in the papers under the head-'Political Relations'. All the ten volumes, however, form one single unit and should be taken as that only.
8. Kashmir has been and continues to be the core of the entire India - Pakistan discourse and Pakistan did not hesitate to raise it every time and any time there was a handshake. Placing of these documents presented its own difficulty. The documents which are purely Kashmir related have been put under the head 'Kashmir'. But where Kashmir becomes part of the India - Pakistan narrative, I have taken the liberty of placing them under the head 'Political Relations'. Needless to say, Kashmir will be found at all the places and everywhere in these volumes. It is likely that the users of these volumes may have to struggle a little bit to lay their hands on the entire range of material while studying any particular subject. They will kindly bear with me with some patience.
9. When I started on this project, I had thought, that it would not exceed more than five thousand pages. But as it progressed, its dimensions stared me in the face, I realised that even with ten thousand pages, I would not be able to claim that a comprehensive job had been done. The Foreign Secretary who reviewed the project midway in December 2008, felt that it was for the first time that such a study was being attempted and one did not know, when and if at all, another such effort would be made. He therefore advised that we should aim at a comprehensive job even if it meant ten thousand pages. Hence the present study of ten volumes. Having said that let me hasten to add that given the dimensions of the subject, I find it difficult to claim that these volumes are indeed a comprehensive work. Perhaps another ten volumes would be needed to make such a claim. But that is for another day.
10. It may not be irrelevant to point out here that for the present project as well as for other projects referred to above, I did not receive any grant or financial assistance from any source. These studies have somehow, been financed out of my own, not too deep pockets. However, the External Publicity Division and later the Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs extended their help by the purchase of sufficient number of copies on publication. The sale proceeds from one project got ploughed in the other and the cycle kept running. I feel grateful to the Ministry of External Affairs for this arrangement. But the entire risk was mine.
11. In preparation of this study, as hinted above, I have drawn extensively on the archival holdings of the National Archives of India, the Archives and Record Management Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. I will like to extend my grateful thanks to all of them for giving me access to their material. I also drew heavily on the Libraries of the Ministry of External Affairs, Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, India International Centre, The United Services Institution and the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis. I am grateful to the officers and staff of these institutions. I particularly like to mention the Library of the India International Centre, where I finally sat down day after day, while working on the final stages of this project, and received the unstinted support and help from the Chief Librarian Dr. Maujamdar and his able officers, Shafali, Rajiv and others. Many thanks to all of them.
12. Ever since I embarked on the present journey in 1993, Shri Shivshankar Menon has been a great motivator and source of help in every way, as Joint Secretary (North), as High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, and later as High Commissioner in Islamabad and as Foreign Secretary. His help and guidance saw me through many difficult phases. I owe a debt of gratitude to him.
13. I have given a rather lengthy, introduction to this multi-volumebook. A narrative of this nature needed a second opinion, and reading through. Many friends were kind enough to offer their valuable time to go through it. Though they were reluctant to get their names mentioned, I do wish to thank them by name and therefore I am taking the liberty of mentioning their names; M/S Jagmohan, Satish Chandra, TCA Rangachari, and M.L. Chhibber. They made valuable comments. My sincere thanks to all of them. I also owe thanks to my daughter Puneet and daughter-in-law Kamaljeet for reading though the pages with meticulous care. Finally Miss Priya Rana with her fine pen, tuned the whole introduction and crossed the t's and doted the i's. Many thanks to her for this painstaking job well done.
14. Dr. TCA Raghvan was a great help in the preparation of these volumes with his advice and guidance. I take this opportunity to extend my grateful thanks to him.
15. Shri Ravi Kumar and his assistant Sameer Mishra slogged a lot to put the material on the computer and see it through the various stages of printing. They worked with me throughout the five years that took this project to complete. Both need a special mention and my sincere thanks to both of them.
16. In reproducing the documents, I have made every effort to adhere to the original text both in terms of the punctuation and the spellings of the names of various persons and places as occurring in the original.
17. As indicated above I received help and sought opinion of many persons in the preparation of this study and in giving the introduction and they have been generous with their help and comments. But finally I must remain fully responsible for the views expressed in giving the introduction or in giving the footnotes to the documents, or for any other deficiency that may be found in these volumes.