If one looks at the verdict handed out by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) – disqualifying Khawaja Asif as a member of the parliament – strictly through the lens of the precedent set down by the Supreme Court (SC) - in which it disqualified Nawaz Sharif and Jehangir Tareen – then there is nothing to see that would upset the eye. Khwaja Asif’s case mirrors Nawaz Sharif’s – both had an undeclared ‘iqama’ in the Gulf States – and if one was disqualified, so should be the other.

So while a legal purist would not bat and eye applying a precedent set down by a higher court, any person who looks at the country holistically cannot help but shudder at the at the ruthless strength of the 62(1)(f) provision and wonder “how did we get here”?

The provision has been interpreted to become a powerful weapon against elected representatives, far outstripping any other censure contained in the constitution. Where the nearest censures – the other subheadings in article 62 – carry defined punishments for a brief period of time, article 62(1) (f) disqualifies indefinitely. While the other provisions require a previous conviction for a predefined crime, article 62(1) (f) can be applied on anything, be it deliberate or by omission, that the court deems to fall under the vast and nebulous ambit of the word “dishonest”.

From now on elected representatives will exist in a limbo; they would need experts, auditors and forensic investigators to make sure they have declared each and every single asset and personal information they have, and even still they might not be safe. We can expect a sea of petitions before the court following the coming elections; losers taking the winners to the courts, rivals blaming the other, and a general lack of security for the members of the most important institution of the government

However, far more worrying than the strength of the weapon, is the way it is being wielded – selectively and oblivious to the political consequences of such actions. So far only the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) has been targeted, with its opponents gleefully celebrating the results each time a party stalwart is dragged in front of the court. The dust from Khawaja Asif’s disqualification has yet to settle and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s (PTI) political machinery is publicly and vocally trained on its next target – the Interior Minister, Ahsan Iqbal.

And after all of this, there is still no indication if this is as far as article 62(1) (f) will go.