WASHINGTON - The United States believes that public opinion in Pakistan is now favourable towards the stepped up US-Pakistan anti-terrorism partnership, which also focuses on addressing the needs of the South Asian country. 'We are encouraged by the recent trends in Pakistani public opinion that recognise the value of the ongoing strategic dialogue and ever-improving cooperation between the United States and Pakistan, Assistant Secretary of State P J Crowley, said at a daily briefing. The State Department official said that many people in Pakistan recognise the positive tone and substance in the US-Pakistan relationship. 'Our strategic partnership involves working together to address the needs of the Pakistani people and the security of Pakistan and the region, Crowley said. He said the US and Pakistan 'together can and must take a stand against those who would serve as apologists for terrorists, he said referring to the recent anti-American statements by Lt General(Retd) Hamid Gul and Jamaat-i-Islami leaders. 'In the best spirit of a free Press, Pakistani editors and newsmakers should strive to highlight the irresponsibility of unfounded statements like these that are designed to divide rather than unite us, Crowley added. Acknowledging that the US low image in Pakistan is an issue of great concern to the Obama Administration, Crowley said the government was working hard in this regard. 'We have spent a great deal of effort building this relationship, explaining more significantly to Pakistani people, alongwith the Secretary (of State) in Pakistan, doing that, and we think that has helped change the environment. I think there was a significant and positive response to the recent US-Pakistan strategic dialogue, he said, adding, but this remains a work in progress and US would continue dialogue with Pakistan in the coming weeks and months.