ISLAMABAD - As the number of drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal area has reached more than 400 killing thousands including women and children, the National Assembly was informed Monday that there was no government policy for compensation of affected families of drone attacks.

Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) MNA Aisha Syed asked the government about the steps taken for families of those affected by terrorism and drone attacks in FATA.

In a written reply to her question, Minister for States and Frontier Region (SAFRON) Lt Gen (retired) Abdul Qadir Baloch informed the house that while the government had distributed Rs731 million as compensation to families of those killed in terrorism, there was no government policy to compensate civilian victims of drone strikes.

Shah Ji Gul Afridi, a lawmaker from Khyber Agency, wondered that despite that drone strikes had been hitting tribal areas since 2004 killing innocent civilians; the government had so far not devised any policy to pay compensation to the families of victims.

Although there is debate over the number of civilian and militant casualties, yet it is believed that an estimated 286 to 890 civilians have been killed, including 168 to 197 children.

Amnesty International (AI) has found that a number of victims were unarmed and that some strikes could amount to war crimes. According to Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 391 to 780 civilians were killed out of a total of 1,658 to 2,597, including 160 children.

To another question asked by PPP lawmaker Azra Fazal Pechuho about the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs), the SAFRON minister said that over 450,941 verified families from FATA got displaced due to the military operation up to December 2, 2014.

He said that 162,338 families had returned to their areas whereas 288,603 families were still living in refugee camps away from their native areas. He added that Rs8171 million had been spent on the relief of IDPs.

The minister in a written reply to another question of lawmaker said that uplift funds meant for development of FATA had not been released wholly. Under the Annual Development Plan (ADP) 2014-15, not a single penny has so far been released out of the pledged Rs32 million for social welfare projects in FATA.

Similarly, only Rs338 million have been utilized on education projects in tribal areas out of the total allocated fund of Rs3865 million while Rs68 million were spent on health projects despite the allocation of Rs1664 million for the sector.

Under the 2013-14 ADP, only Rs985 million were utilized on public health projects in FATA although the allocation stood at Rs1321 million which means the unutilized money remained unspent.

The minister said that while the total number of schemes for tribal areas last year was 473, the number of projects in the current year was 327. A major chunk of funds allocated for execution of different projects in the militancy-hit area remained unutilized in last year.