But there is one thing he said that resonated with me because I've seen it in his government for the past three decades.
I'd like to point out this one thing because it is very relevant to Pakistan's political and military leaderships.
Mubarak said at one point in his speech, 'I will not allow myself to be subject to foreign interference'. At another place, he added, 'I will live and die in Egypt.'
Great words and they certainly don't justify his three-decade long tight grip on power, the corruption and now the refusal of the regime to understand its people.
But I watched President Mubarak say these words and thought about Pakistani leaders who, since the 1990s and until now in 2011, have become shameful instruments of foreign meddling in Pakistan. Mubarak is supposed to be a bigger foreign stooge and yet he never allowed foreign meddling in his country, and he won't now even in his defeat.
Even in his defeat Mubarak declared he will not subject himself to foreign diktat. And that he will die and be buried in Egypt and won't escape for safety and in some haven in Jeddah, Dubai, London and New York.
For Pakistan's ruling elite, these cities have become alternate capitals of Pakistan.
Mubarak refused to entertain offers to move to Germany or Saudi Arabia or Dubai. Sure, things can change in the future, but I read in the Arabic-language media that if worse came to worse, Mubarak thinks he could hand over power and move to his house in the resort city of Sharm el Sheikh, but never leave and die outside Egypt.
This is significant and let me explain why.
Even when Egypt under Mubarak was very pro-American and pro-Israel, it kept its national pride. Egypt was taking American aid but refused to accept American meddling. Mubarak knew Washington needed his country in order to protect Israel. So he delivered on that count but never permitted the Americans to meddle in Egyptian politics. When President George W. Bush rolled out his democracy agenda in the Middle East after 9/11, Mubarak was instrumental in failing it [along with the Saudis]. He just won't have it. Mubarak refused to allow the Americans to establish direct contact with Egyptian politicians or engineer any kind of internal change.
Egypt made peace with Israel but only because Egyptian nationalists were disappointed at what they saw as stabs in the back by Arabs and Muslims [For example, rich Arabs refused to bail oput Egyptian economy enough despite Egypt fighting Israel in four wars on behalf of all Arabs. Egypt was also shocked to see Pakistan in 1956 supporting the British-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt, and other Muslim nations like Turkey and Iran not supporting Egypt in wars with Israel.] All of this shaped the psyche of the Egyptian ruling elite and intelligentsia and helped push Egypt toward peace with Israel under American guarantees.
But Mubarak didn't allow his people to become American or Israeli puppets, and limited all forms of political interference.
I can recount many occasions when there were frictions between Cairo and Washington over one thing or the other and the mainstream US media was unleashed - as usual - to ridicule, harass or intimidate Mubarak and Egypt. But Mubarak won't have any of it. The Egyptians have always been very protective of their national pride.
Compare that to Pakistan. Every regime, from Benazir Bhutto to Nawaz Sharif to Pervez Musharraf to Asif Zardari, has handed over Pakistani citizens to foreign governments without an iota of national pride.
Some of them moved to Jeddah, Dubai, London and New York. Most of them have their wealth and properties abroad. Mr. Musharraf added something new to this shameful history when he launched Pakistan's first political party on foreign soil, in London and Dubai. And now most Pakistani politicians consider it kosher to conduct important political meetings outside Pakistan. Mr. Zardari has introduced another first: high-level meetings with foreign governments that relevant Pakistani government departments, like the Foreign Office, know nothing about. We have ambassadors and national security advisers who are appointed to protect the interests of foreign governments.
The regime's corruption and ruthlessness are the reasons why Egyptians want change. But Egypt progressed a lot under Mubarak's regime, unlike the Syrians or the Iraqis.
For all of his ties to the Americans and Israelis, Egypt under Mubarak remained staunchly proud. As a Pakistani, I certainly don't want to see a Mubarak in Pakistan. However, we do need a Pakistani ruling class with the same sense of pride and history, one that won't turn its country into an experimentation zone for foreign powers.
Hosni Mubarak and the Egyptian regime made peace with Israel but never allowed any foreign power to come and abuse Egyptians or bomb them through CIA drones. This honor exclusively belongs to Pakistan's ruling elite.