Among some of the most unexpected incidents to occur recently was the decision of the former Chief of Army Staff, General Pervez Musharraf, to not return to Pakistan in order to take part in the upcoming general elections. While the cowardly commando and his entourage were repeatedly guaranteed safe passage to and from the country, they continued to present several lame excuses to defend their decision. Even the Chief Justice of Pakistan gave his assurance that they had nothing to be afraid of, and accepted all the demands that were put forward by Musharraf’s camp, but they ended up asking for even more. This is unbecoming of an ex-Army Chief who ruled over Pakistan for nine years and has negatively affected his reputation in the country, even more so than when he left the country in disgrace with the help of General (retd) Raheel Sharif.The second surprising development to take place recently was the controversy surrounding Imran Khan’s recent trip to Mecca. He was first accused of having used Rs. 10 to 17 million of the public’s money to hire a private aircraft to ferry him to and from Saudi Arabia. It then emerged that he had requested the interim Interior Minister Azam Khan to let his close friend Zulfi Bokhari accompany him on the trip, despite Bokhari’s name having been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) by NAB, who are investigating him over his ownership of 15 offshore companies. This entire episode has put Imran Khan in a very bad light, as his claims of ridding the country of corruption and bringing about real change seems duplicitous in nature considering his actions of late. This hypocritical behaviour is not only harmful for the future ambitions of his party, but has also been quite shocking for his many supporters, especially the youth, who expected more from him. While they hoped that the Kaptan would buck the trend of Pakistani politics, he is increasingly acting like the leaders that our citizens have gotten used over the years; power hungry, corrupt, and more interested in their own welfare than the people of the country.Imran Khan requested the interim interior minister to let his close friend, Zulfi Bokhari, accompany him to Makkah, despite Bokhari’s name having been placed on the Exit Control List by NAB, which is investigating him over his ownership of 15 offshore companiesThese two incidents go a long way in highlighting the lack of any new ideas in our political system, and the need for new leaders that bring something fresh and innovative to the table. The people of this country are tired of the same old shenanigans of our politicians and it is high time we do something about it. Yet among all this uncertainty, the Working Group on Higher Education Commission Reforms (WGHER) managed to do something positive for a change. They recently released an 18 point manifesto that they hope will be adopted by all major political parties in the country. In it they called attention to the different policy changes that were required to improve our education sector. Some of their suggestions included appointing personnel, including teachers and chancellors, through a transparent and independent committee, comprising of eminent scholars and experienced educators. They further urged the government to allocate 4% of the GDP for the education sector, and 25% of that budget to higher education specifically. They also suggested restoring student unions and encouraging peace, tolerance and dialogue in university campuses by promoting social activities, as well as arts and humanities subjects.The WGHER further went on to talk about the importance of promoting our universities around the world, in order to improve our rankings in the international community, leading to greater cultural exchange. They also outlined a plan to help struggling graduates, especially those with a PhD, find jobs, as well as advocated for skill and technology based learning by establishing community colleges and technology universities, especially in collaboration with through foreign contributors. Even though all these recommendations seem that they would revitalize the education sector in our country, they can only be a success if all major political parties agree to implement these points when they come into power. But with the current political climate, it doesn’t seem very likely. It seems our citizens have a hard decision on their hands to decide which of the political parties they feel will give credence to this sage council from the WGHER.The writer is an Islamabad-based policy advocacy, strategic communication and outreach expert. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @EmmayeSyed Published in Daily Times, June 20th 2018.