Sir the only reason why Mirage V was given the first priority is because PAF wanted to improve its range. Mirage V are excellent Strike Aircrafts, much better than our F16's but the only thing they lacked was range.
I understand that PAF wants to improve the range of the Mirages; however, I do not agree that the Mirage V are much better
than the F-16s in the strike role. You can say the M2K is better (again much
would be a little too much) than F-16 in A2G but certainly not the Mirage V even in its ROSE configuration. The Mirage III/V started their career in the PAF (as well as other Air Forces around the world) as multi-role fighter just like the F-16 did. However, in the PAF, these ancient birds are still lingering on because we just don’t have other platforms in number
to replace them. It is obvious that PAF would never like to send its handful of the F-16s (even if they are superior to Mirage in every respect, including A2G) to perform the air interdiction role, PAF just can’t afford to loose its handful F-16s.
With IFR, we significantly enhance their range meaning they can carry Long Range Strike Missions. JF17's are more designed to perform air superiority roles, not strike missions and that is why Mirage V were given the first priority. They still have a lot of life left in their airframes, i dont think they will be retired before 2025.
With the onboard avionics, self defense systems, Mirage III/V are not suitable for the long range strike missions deep into enemy territory; they’ll prove sitting ducks for the IAF’s Mig-29s (naval Mig-29Ks), M2Ks even the Bisons, forget about MKIs. However, IFR-capable Mirage will have an advantage of carrying more weapon load. The PAF is inducting the JFs mainly to replace the ancient A5s and the Mirages, hence to me, the primary role of the JF would be what was designated to the aircrafts its is replacing, that is air-interdiction. JF-17 is not an air-superiority fighter rather a multi-role fighter. I also do not agree that lot of life
is left in the Mirage’s airframes. We make fun of the IAF’s Mig-21, whereas fact of the matter is, our Mirage are also flying coffins, and this can be verified by checking the number of Mirages crashed in past five or so years. At any rate if PAF thinks that the 50s technology Mirage III/V are still viable, than who am I to say otherwise.