Abdul Malik Pahlawan is an Uzbek politician based out of Faryab Province in northern Afghanistan. He is currently head of the Afghanistan Liberation Party and was heavily involved the factional fighting that consumed Afghanistan for many years . His rival for control of the Uzbek north is Rashid Dostum, and their militias have clashed several times since the fall of the Taliban.
Initially, Abdul Malik was one of Dostum's subordinates, but in 1996 he blamed Dostum for the murder of his brother Rasoul. He then entered into secret negotiations with the Taliban, who promised to respect his authority over much of Northern Afghanistan, in exchange for the capture of Ismail Khan, one of their most powerful enemies. Accordingly, on May 25, 1997 he arrested Khan and handed him over and let the Taliban enter Mazari Sharif, giving them control over most of Northern Afghanistan. Because of this treason, Dostum was forced to flee to Turkey. However Malik quickly realized that the Taliban weren't going to keep their promises as they started to disarm his men. He then rejoined forces with the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (the Northern Alliance), and turned against his erstwhile allies, helping to drive them from Mazari Sharif.
In October 1997, Dostum returned from exile and defeated Malik, briefly regaining control of Mazari Sharif, and forcing him to escape to Iran.