Avtar Singh Bhasin (b. June 7, 1935) did his B.A. (Hons.) and M.A in History. He had a short stint of service with the National Archives of India and the Ministry of Defence before joining the Ministry of External Affairs in 1963, where he served for next three decades retiring in June 1993 as Director (Historical Division). He was posted in the Indian Missions in Kathmandu, Bonn, Vienna and Lagos. He travelled extensively within and outside the country in the discharge of his duties in the Ministry. He was a member of several official, ministerial and Prime Ministerial delegations for discussions with various countries.
He took to academic studies after retirement in 1993. He was Senior Fellow at the Indian Council of Historical Research from 1994 to 1996, and an Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Studies of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library from 1996 to 2000. He attended several seminars on South Asia and contributed research papers at these dialogues. He has also published several articles on South Asian affairs in newspapers and journals.
His main focus has been documenting India's foreign relations, a task that had not been attempted in the past more than sixty years. His first work was a two-volume study of India-Nepal-China Relations: 1947-92; later expanded and updated to Five Volumes covering the period up to 2005. His second contribution was the documentary study of India-Bangladesh Relations, first published in two volumes covering the period 1971 to 1994, and then updated and expanded to Five Volumes covering the period up to 2002. The success of these two studies encouraged him to undertake a third one, a study on Sri Lanka, also in Five Volumes which was published under the title “India-Sri Lanka Relations and Sri Lanka's Ethnic Conflict—1947-2000.”
In the golden jubilee year of the Indian independence, 1997, he wrote 75 pieces for the Asian Age which were published consecutively from June 1 to August 14, 1997 every day as a throwback to the tumultuous days of 1947, to refresh the memories of the older generation and inform the younger generation of the sacrifices, trials and tribulations and travails, which the people had to go through, before independence. Subsequently, a larger version of these articles appeared in the book form: “Some Called it Partition, Some Freedom”.
Returning to the subject of Sri Lanka, he published a new book in 2005 under the title: “India in Sri Lanka: Between Lion and the Tigers”, which studied the Indian role in resolving the Sri Lankan imbroglio. This book was published both in India and Sri Lanka.
In November 2012 he published a Ten Volume documentary study of India – Pakistan Relations: 1947 – 2007; running into more than Ten Thousand pages.
To mark the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN – India Dialogue Partnership and 10th anniversary of Summit level Partnership, he published another book “ASEAN - INDIA: Progress and Prosperity” for the Commemorative Summit held in New Delhi in December 2012, in which all the Heads of State/Government of the ASEAN countries participated.
He edits and publishes an annual series under the title “INDIA'S FOREIGN RELATIONS” in cooperation with the Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs. It showcases the documents bearing on India's foreign relations in each year. Starting with 2002, so far ten volumes, covering the period up to 2011 have been published.

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