Pakistan resumed on day four with a lead of 112 but lost their final wicket in only the second over, leaving England needing 118 for the win.
An unbeaten partnership of 111 between Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott guided England home as Alastair Cook again failed with the bat.
The tourists were always behind in the game after a dismal effort in their first innings when they were bowled out for just 72Ã¢â‚¬â€their lowest Test score against England. James Anderson and Stuart Broad simply tore apart the timid and inexperienced line up to take four wickets each.
The hosts eased past the poor total but did not dominate as expected, despite a promising 80 from Kevin Pietersen.
Instead they could only make 251, Saeed Ajmal taking his first Test five-wicket haul. Yet this still gave England a first innings lead of 179.
In PakistanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s crucial second innings Graeme Swann, who had only bowled two overs in the first Test, struck in his first over.
The off spinner removed Imran Farhat and Azhar Ali as he turned the ball dangerously. At 101-6 an innings defeat looked on the cards but Pakistan were saved by a resilient partnership between debutant wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider and Ajmal.
England’s frustration boiled over as Stuart Broad threw the ball towards Haider, later leading to a Ã‚Â£3,000 fine from the ICC. Swann broke the pair and Pakistan were soon all out.
Strauss and Trott strolled to the target but more poor fielding from Pakistan allowed the England captain to pass fifty and guide his team into a 2-0 lead.
The two sides meet again at the Oval next Wednesday with all eyes on the Pakistani camp to see who will make the side after two disastrous performances.
MORE: The latest football news
MORE: The latest tennis news
BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge
BIOGRAPHY: Kepa Arrizabalaga