England need eight wickets to win the first Test on the final day and Pakistan require 263 runs to go 1-0 up after a bold declaration from Ben Stokes at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.
Stokes set Pakistan 343 for victory on a flat pitch when he ended the tourists' innings on 264-7 from 35.5 overs during the tea break on Sunday and they closed on 80-2.
Debutant Will Jacks had earlier taken 6-161 to bowl Pakistan out for 579 before England put their foot down again, with Harry Brook (87), Joe Root (73) and Zak Crawley (50) scoring rapid half-centuries.
Having kept the match alive with such a positive approach on a placid track, England got rid of Abdullah Shafique and Babar Azam, with Azhar Ali also departing retired hurt to leave the game well poised heading into the final day.
Agha Salman (53) and Zahid Mahmood (17) held England up with an eighth-wicket stand of 57 after they resumed on 499-7, but the impressive Jacks removed that pair and Haris Rauf to end the innings.
Ben Duckett was taken by Salman at second slip off Naseem Shah for a golden duck in the first over of England's second innings and Ollie Pope made only 15, but Crawley and Root piled on the runs.
They put on 60 before the elegant Crawley, one of the tourists' four first-innings centurions, was removed by Mohammad Ali, with Brook then sharing a rapid stand of 96 with Root.
Former captain Root batted left-handed at one stage as he made a classy half-century, while Brook showed his full repertoire of shots on both sides of the wicket as the runs continued to flow.
Root was caught when sweeping Zahid and Stokes fell without scoring in the same over, before declaring after the brilliant Brook was cleaned up by Naseem on the stroke of tea.
England's short-ball approach paid off when Ollie Robinson dismissed Shafique and Stokes claimed the huge wicket of Babar, caught behind for only four, after Azhar departed having taken blow on his index finger.
Imam-ul-Haq (43 not out) and Saud Shakeel (24no) saw Pakistan through to the close, the debutant getting a late life when he was dropped by Keaton Jennings at short leg.
The joy of six for Jacks
Jacks came into the England set-up better known for his explosive batting than his bowling, but the spinning all-rounder has made a big impact with the ball on his Test bow.
He polished off Pakistan's first innings in the morning session to double his wicket tally, earning his rewards for bowling 40.3 overs.
Jacks later struck three sixes as he made a quickfire 23 from 13 balls as England batted in one-day mode once again before the declaration.
Blistering Brook, Stokes strikes
Following a 153 from 116 balls in the first innings, Brook put on another show as he took the Pakistan bowling attack apart.
He struck three sixes and 11 fours, demonstrating great timing and clean hitting to enable Stokes to declare during the tea interval.
Stokes then claimed the huge scalp of Babar to give England the upper hand after Robinson had Shafique taken by Brook in the deep.