Kazi was born in Hyderabad, Sindh then part of the Bombay Presidency of British India on 15 August 1920. He matriculated in 1936 and secured the Sir Jairajbhoy Peerbhoy scholarship of the University of Bombay for standing first amongst the Muslim candidates. In 1938, Kazi annexed the Sir Frank Souter scholarship in his intermediate exams for the same reason. In 1940 he secured a degree in Mathematics and English. In 1942, Kazi graduated a second time with a LL.B degree in Law and Justice from the Bombay University.
He belonged to Paat village in Dadu District and was the only surviving child of Dr Ali Ahmed S Kazi, one of the few Muslim physicians from Sindh at the time, who founded the Liaquat Medical School Hyderabad (now the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences), was the first Medical Superintendent of Civil Hospital Karachi and subsequently Director Health Services, Government of Sindh.
He was a grand nephew of Allama I. I. Kazi a Muslim scholar and philosopher, and his German wife Elsa Kazi. He married his cousin Ayesha daughter of renowned educationist Khan Bahadur Ghulam Nabi Kazi MBE in 1946.
After securing his law degree and enrolment as an Advocate of the Chief Court now High Court of Sindh, he joined government service after competing in the Indian Audits and Accounts Service and Allied Services examination of 1944 in British India. During his initial posting as Income Tax Officer Bombay in 1945 he worked under John Burt Shearer a senior Indian Civil Service officer working as Commissioner Income Tax Bombay. He later opted to serve in Pakistan after independence in 1947 and held senior positions such as Commissioner of Income Tax in Karachi, Lahore, Sindh and Balochistan, Member Central now Federal Board of Revenue (Pakistan), and Finance Director Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation. In the revenue work done by him, he had intensive training in commercial accounts in all types of business, commerce and industry giving him the necessary background for industrial management and development.
He was promoted as Secretary to the Government of Pakistan (the highest rung in the civil service)and held the office of Chairman Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation, the largest industrial conglomerate at that time, from 1974-1978. During this period he was also Chairman of all the gas companies of Pakistan including Sui Gas Transmission company, Indus Gas Company, Karachi Gas Company and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines. He also remained Chairman Pakistan Institute of Management. Some of the PIDC projects he headed included Harnai Woolen Mills, Talpur Textile Mills, Liquified Petroleum Gas project in Quetta and Larkana, Timber Seasoning Plant, PIDC Printing Press, Dir Forest Industries Complex, Harnai Woolen Mills, Mineral Development Program Balochistan, Specialized Refractory Plant, Sor Range Coal Mines, Rock Salt Mines in Khewra and several other sites, Coal Briquetting Plant, Quetta, Timber Preservation and Seasoning Plant, Qaidabad Woolen Mills, General Refractories, Indus Steel Pipes, Haripur Rosin and Turpentine, Shahdadkot Textile Mills, Bawany Sugar Mills, Larkana Sugar Mills and Bannu Sugar Mills. He was also the first Managing Director of the National Fertilizers Corporation and Pakistan-Iran Textiles and served on the Board of Directors of the Maple Leaf Cement Factory, White Cement Industries, Khurram Chemicals, Lyallpur Chemicals and Fertilizers, Pak-American Fertilizers, Makerwal Collieries, Crescent Jute Products, Zeal Pak Cement, Pak Arab Fertilizers.
After his retirement in 1979, he practiced as an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan until his appointment as Chairman adhoc Public Accounts Committee Sindh. He held the latter position until the induction of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh in 1985. He was awarded the civil award of Tamgha-e-Pakistan at an early point in his career in recognition of his loyalty and integrity to Pakistan.
Kazi died on 7 January 2007 at the age of 86, and was survived by a widow Mrs Ayesha Kazi, daughter Dr Nilofer Qureshi a Professor of Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, and two sons Safdar Kazi Senior Vice President Sindh Bank Limited and Dr Ghulam Nabi Kazi National Professional Officer of the World Health Organization Pakistan. His grand children include Arif Qureshi, Sonya Kazi, Ali Ahmed Kazi, Asad Kazi and Elsa Kazi Jr, while he has left behind two great grand children Ari and Zoe Qureshi.