1) Tell me one thing. If Pakistan is excluded from the SAARC how come Afghanistan can be added to it when Pakistan holds the key to connectivity between India and Afghanistan?Pakistan cant join for reasons everyone knows. Once Rohingya issue is resolved, may be Myanmar and Thailand can also be added. This will counterbalance the weight of India to a certain extent.
2) ASEAN block is far stronger than the SAARC will ever become because of friction between Pakistan and India. As such, there is a remote possibility of Burma and Thailand join SAARC.
3) SAARC in such a dire condition, I would rather like BD to become an ASEAN member. However, the present members may not endorse it because, historically, it is not a part of SEA in regional politics or trade. But, then, of course, things may change if BD becomes an economically strong country.
4) There have been approaches over BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation). But, I do not see any new activities.
5) In my opinion, BIMSTEC activities may fully start with the implementation of the highway connectivities among the member nations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Only SL is without a land connection. However, BIMSTEC is still only talks and irregular meetings, and nothing concrete is coming out from these.