POONA RESIDENCY CORRESPONDENCE is an English rendering, in several volumes, of selections from the Persian records of the Peshwā Daftar, a collection of British official records ofthe Resident's transactions concerning the cis-Sutlej region. Prior to the establishment of the Delhi Residency (1803) and the Ludhiāṇā Agency (1809), the British Resident with the Scindia at Fatehgaṛh was responsible for all such political transactions. The correspondence contains information, sometimes trivial, even conjectural, about the Sikhs before and after 1800. Mr Collins, who was the British Resident with the Scindia those days, drew the attention of the Governor-General of India to the fact that the Sukkarchakkīā chief (Raṇjīt Siṅgh) had received a Khill'at from Kābul and that Sikh-Afghān coalition against the British was in the offing (12 September 1797, No. 21A). However, Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh's communication to the Governor-General stating that the Afghān ruler was desirous of reconciliation with the British and that he was as inimical to the Sikh State as he was to the British State proves that Collins' report was unreliable. There is detailed information about Wellesley's mission to the Mālvā and Mājhā Sikh chiefs under Mīr Yūsuf 'Alī Khān. Collins furnished the British emissary with letters of introduction to Raṇjīt Siṅgh and other principal Sikh chiefs (24 June 1800, No. 7). Yūsuf ' Alī Khān was entrusted with the task of weaning away the Sikhs from the Afghāns and impressing upon Raṇjīt Siṅgh and the Mālvā Sardārs the superiority of the British arms and the fact that, if they permitted the Afghāns to enter Hindustān, the Sikh country would be utterly ruined (24 June 1800, No. 17B-Enclosures). Very interesting details of the reception of the British mission at the Court of Raṇjīt Siṅgh are furnished.
B. J. Hasrat