LAHORE - Presidents of Pakistan and Iran will hold extensive talks on promoting cooperation between the two countries when Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comes to Islamabad on a two-day visit on November 22 to participate in the D-8 Summit.A big delegation which also includes businessmen will be accompanying the Iranian president.The D-8 is a group of developing countries with large Muslim populations that have formed an economic development alliance. It consists of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.According to knowledgeable sources, the presidents of Iran and Pakistan will hold one-on-one meeting before being joined by their respective delegations.Regional issues, including the Afghanistan conflict, will be high on the agenda.Although in the past the two countries had different policies about Afghanistan, they are on the same page now as far as dealing with the Taliban is concerned.They also have identical views on reactivation and restructuring of the Jeddah-based 57-state Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). Both the countries want the OIC to be a genuine and potent voice of the Islamic Ummah.The gas pipeline, air and rail links between the Pakistan and Iran will also come under discussion at the Nejad-Zardari talks.Iran wants work on the gas pipeline expedited. It is about to complete work on its side of the border and wants Pakistan to complete the same on its side as soon as possible.Air links between the two countries need to be promoted. Iran wants to start Tehran-Islamabad and Mashhad- Lahore flights.The Iranian president, it is said, will underline the need for people-to-people contacts. There’s a possibility of the two countries exchanging delegations more frequently.Some irritants between the two countries have already disappeared. For example, Iran is satisfied that Jundullah is now not carrying out terrorist activities inside the Islamic Republic because of the measures taken by the Pakistan government.Sources said both the countries have similar approach for ties with China and Russia and this is an important factor which will bring them further closer.Ties between the provinces of Punjab and Khorasan are getting stronger with the passage of time. While a parliamentary delegation of the Punjab Assembly recently visited Iran, the Punjab chief minister has also been invited for a visit to Khorasan by the end of the year.Meanwhile, the D-8 Summit to be held in Islamabad will be the eighth summit after the group was launched in Istanbul in 1997. However, Pakistan will be hosting the summit for the first time. Other member countries have already hosted one meeting each. The last summit was held in Abuja (Nigeria) in July 2010.The objectives of D-8 are to improve developing countries’ positions in the world economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at the international level, and provide better standards of living. The main areas of cooperation include finance, banking, rural development, science and technology, humanitarian development, agriculture, energy, environment and health.