Better sortie rates are important. The Israelis proved that. This is another important advantage the PAF has and that it's pilot to plane ratio vs the IAF.Being able to put up assets in the sky can blunt a massive attack. They lob SOWs, so do we; they fire BVR missiles, so do we; they come in, we meet them head-on. The next iteration would be on more favorable terms because I think our one-engine birds can be turned around much faster than their's. That is why numbers matter in my view, & that is why we have JF-17 as it is. Transport planes are certainly important, but if we can not blunt a massive attack then those transport planes would hardly matter.
But then, I am no expert & I yield to better informed & analytical people here. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Also this "Massive attack" theory does not account for.
Airfield density closer to front line
Logistical support for the various types needing to be dispersed to said airfields.
Space at said airfields and vulnerability to attack from land and air launched stand off munitions.
These (And many others) Are why the Indian "Cold start" tactic would never have worked."
As the saying goes "Amateurs talk tactics professionals talk Logistics"