ISLAMABAD - Work in the newsroom of the TheNation came to a sudden halt as the shocking news of the murder of senior reporter Raja Assad Hameed reached there. The instant feeling was that of shock, which later turned into grief which finally melted into tears. TheNation's dear Assad Raja is no more. TV channels started flashing the breaking news: "Another brutal murder after Tariq Malik's killing in Lahore and before that of Moosa Kakakhel in Swat. It is a clear case of target killing. The bullet-ridden body of Raja Assad Hameed has been shifted to hospital." News of Raja Assad's cold-blooded murder erupted like a bombshell and the entire staff members of TheNation-from the reporting section to the newsroom-were dumbfounded and remained glued to the TV screen. Resident Editor, TheNation, Islamabad, Mahmood Hamdani, Deputy Resident Editor Umar Aziz Khan, News Editor Shahbaz Bhatti, senior colleagues, heads of various sections and workers condemned the incident and remembered that Assad was a thorough gentleman, a down to earth professional who filed stories without any favour or fear. At personal level and in his dealings with fellow colleagues, Assad never assumed airs and was quite friendly and just like a family member to all of them. "We feel as if we have lost a brother," said the resident editor. "Now it is clear that none is safe here," he said adding it could be anyone since the government has badly failed to protect journalists. Umar Aziz Khan said he had received Assad Hameed's report on email before receiving the news of his death. Assad was at TheNation office by 9 pm and took his dinner here, said a colleague and after 9 in the night he left for home. Shahbaz Bhatti when asked to comment said he found Raja Assad a devoted journalist and a talented person. He broke a number of stories and never compromised on principles, he said. Father to a two-year daughter and a regular visitor to Darbar Imam Bari, Raja Assad Hameed never assumed airs, humble down to earth, he was popular with journalists from print and electronic media alike. Fellow colleagues not only from Nawa-i-Waqt and TheNation but also from other dailies one after another shared with Waqt TV's anchorpersons their fond memories of Raja Assad, who was more than a colleague to them-a brother and a guide. Waqt TV, meanwhile, reported that it was the third consecutive murder of a senior journalist of English newspapers in Pakistan, Musa Khankhel and Tariq Malik, being the first two. His wife is not in a state to tell how he was killed and what exactly happened reported another senior colleague when contacted. Journalists are in a state of shock in the twin cities, Waqt TV reported. "No one is ready to believe that such a gentle, noble, soft-spoken and kind person could be murdered in such a cold-blooded way," said another colleague. "I am feeling as if I have lost my brother," said another colleague. Raja Assad used to file reports on crime scenes before he switched over to cover the Supreme Court. The new SC reporters remembering Assad Bhai said that he guided them with regard to filing SC stories. He also used to ask them to file stories impartially and without any fear. Remembering her Assad Bhai, a reporter of Nawa-i-Waqt, Nosheen Yousuf said he not only guided the young reporters but also encouraged them. "During the lawyers' struggle for the restoration of the Supreme Court Chief Justice and other senior judges, Assad Bhai saw to it that we, the new reporters, knew how to avoid shelling and what to do in case we came under fire," she further remembered.