May 9 was touted as a significant date in the Panama saga. The ICIJ released more names of those owning offshore companies on Monday, and incidentally, the National Assembly (NA) was set to meet to discuss the ToRs and the government’s reluctance to bring the opposition on board. Prominent among the new list, are reportedly close friends and benefactors of leaders of major political parties such as Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bokhari (a close friend of Imran Khan), Irfan Iqbal Puri (a reported confidant of both Zardari and Altaf Hussain) and Tariq Aslam, cousin of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

As the opposition gears itself up to create a ruckus in the NA regarding the PMs link to Panama, everyone seems to have forgotten that this debate was never about bringing Nawaz Sharif to task. It was supposed to be so much more, because the Panama papers offered irrefutable proof for what was already an open secret; the rich continue to exploit legal loopholes to make themselves richer. Society is stratified, and the Panama papers gave us all an insight into how this stratification is engineered to widen the gap. But not a single political representative has attempted to steer the conversation towards this, which tells us that the ruling elite remains committed to accumulating all capital, political economic and cultural, into its own hands. The capitalist system not only allows for the flow of money into the hands of the rich, but it ensures that the money then stays there. The ‘trickle-down effect’ or other economic theories that favour investing more in capitalism to ensure that the poor get something too is all a sham. What the poor get is peanuts, while the rich do not know what to do with their vast stores of wealth.

And no, Aleem Khan does not deserve to be commended for declaring offshore companies and assets to ECP and FBR beforehand, because at the end of the day, a political representative is to look out for the best interests of the people. Given that half of Pakistan lives below the poverty line, a large part of every constituency in Pakistan is comprised of people who do not even have enough to eat on a daily basis. These are the people that need to be represented, even though our leaders only represent the ruling elite, and no one else. Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif and Aleem Khan can never understand what the people really need, because they are so far removed from their reality. PTI has chosen to stand by its rich businessmen, and that makes it clear, that the change that was promised will never materialise with this party. This fight will not end by cutting off the head of one snake, because there are many waiting to replace it.