He was a union boss until he formed an Uzbek militia. He supported the Gorbachev-era Communist reforms in Afghanistan. He defended Communist Afghanistan against the US-backed taliban. He is still fighting them as of today oct 28, 2001, retaking his former capitol of Mazar-e Sharif.
He encourages women to live and work freely, as well as music, sports, alchohol, and allows for people of other religions. These things are all discouraged by the taliban and discouraged, to some extent by the other more moderate mujaheedin who fought the Soviets 1978-1989. Others accuse his troops of attacking Kabul and contributing to the civil war that ensued in the wake of 1992.