ISLAMABAD - Responding positively to Pakistan's request for Chinese support to set up at least four more nuclear power plants, Beijing has assured its longtime friendly state of all possible assistance in this regard. Pakistan's request for the establishment of more nuclear power plants was formally made during the ongoing visit of President Pervez Musharraf to China and in this regard he held extensive talks with the top Chinese leadership on the vital issue. "Islamabad's request for more Chinese nuclear power reactors is meant to bridge the widening gap between the demand and supply of energy. The Chinese friends have been asked to help Pakistan establish at least four more nuclear power plants of nearly 1,300 MW and their response was positive," said a senior official here on Sunday requesting anonymity. He said that with agreement on top governmental level about cooperation in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, Islamabad and Beijing would now carry forward the dialogue on important issue in the weeks to come that could lead to the finalisation of landmark accord between the two sides. According to official, in case of final agreement between Pakistan and China on nuclear energy cooperation, two nuclear power units of 320MW each would be established at Chashma, whereas two others would be set up in Karachi. Islamabad and Beijing, the friendly neighbouring states, have been engaged in nuclear energy cooperation for peaceful purposes since many years. It was back in 2000 when the first reactor of Chashma Nuclear Power Complex was commissioned. A Chinese company has been working on the second phase of that plant after the two sides signed a contract to jointly launch the project in 2004. The official said that currently Pakistan depended mainly on hydel power generation to meet its energy needs but its power generation had dropped considerably because of water shortage in the country. "Hence Pakistan is now in the process of exploring coal, nuclear, wind and solar energy resources to increase its power generation," he added. "Presently, the country is facing a power shortage of 1,500MW to 2,000MW and it is feared to grow alarmingly if timely steps like installation of more nuclear power plants are not taken to improve the situation," the official concluded.