WASHINGTON, Dec 30: US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Thursday that President Pervez Musharraf exercised the option the Pakistani parliament had given him when he decided to retain both the posts of the head of state and the army chief.

Asked for the US reaction to Gen Musharraf's decision, Mr Powell said: "This is a judgment for the Pakistani people to make. The parliament provided for means for him to do this.

He has exercised that option and it is now a matter for the Pakistan people and the Pakistan parliament, which has already judged this, to make any other judgments they wish to make."

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