Traders’ associations in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday said they would boycott their scheduled meetings with Dineshwar Sharma, the Centre-appointed interlocutor who is in the Valley to hold talks with stakeholders, the Hindustan Times reported.

Sharma arrived in Srinagar earlier in the day for a five-day visit, two weeks after the Centre announced that the former Intelligence Bureau director would initiate dialogue with Jammu and Kashmir’s elected representatives, political parties and residents.

“The organisation decided to boycott the meeting as reports from previous interlocutors yielded no results,’’ Javed Tenga, the president of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, was quoted as saying. Another body of traders, the Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir, said, “We have spoken to people, earlier but it’s of no use.”

Others to boycott their meetings with Sharma were houseboat owners and the restaurant owners’ federation.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Twitter that the “hope of resolution via dialogue” had been “rekindled” in the state. “I am optimistic that parties and organisations in J&K will not miss this opportunity to be a part of peace parleys,” she said.

The Opposition party in the state, the National Conference, has not yet got an invitation from Sharma. The party said the exercise of meeting the interlocutor may not yield much result in view of the Centre’s stand on autonomy for the state, PTI reported.

Last week, separatist leaders had said they would not meet Sharma either and called his appointment a “tactic to buy time under international pressures”. They had said Sharma’s remarks that he was coming to the Valley with the government’s directive to “restore peace” limited the scope of any engagement and “makes it an exercise in futility”.