Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi also expressed condolences over Fazli's demise and said he would be remembered forever for his writing which enthralled an entire generation. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Urdu literature has lost a popular figure in Fazli's death, while Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, who sang many of his songs, termed Fazli's passing away as "a great loss to the film industry". Fazli was awarded the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 1998 and conferred with the Padma Shri in 2013.
Born in a Kashmiri family in Delhi in October 1938, his parents migrated to Pakistan after Partition, but he chose to stay back in India. He came to Mumbai in 1964 hoping to make a career in Bollywood and also wrote for certain top Hindi magazines of that era and later started penning lyrics for Hindi film songs.
His soulful ghazals include the evergreen "Kabhi kisi ko mukammal jahan nahin milta" ("Ahista, Ahista"), "Tu is tarha se meri zindagime shamil hai" ("Aat To Aise Na The"), "Hoshwalon ko khabar kya" ("Sarfarosh"), "Aa bhi jaa," ("Sur"). He also penned for films like "Razia Sultan", "Nakhuda", "Harjaee", "Yatra", "Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin", "Tamanna" and many others. Fazli published collections of poetry which include "Lafzon Ke Phool", "Mor Naach", "Aankh Aur Khwab Ke Darmiyan", "Safar Mein Dhoop To Hogi", "Khoya Hua Sa Kuchh" and "Duniya Ek Khilona Hai". Fazli and the late legendary ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh teamed up for a musical album "Insight" in 1994, and they were also known to have collaborated on "Hoshwalon ko khabar kya". Filmmaker John Mathew Matthan, who directed "Sarfarosh" told IANS: "It's a great loss for this film industry. He was such a renowned poet. Coincidentally, today is also Jagjit Singh's birth anniversary and I have worked with both of them in my film 'Sarfarosh'."